Boss happy with Rovers depth

Last updated : 08 January 2010 By Team Talk

Allardyce's players have had an enforced break over the last few days after the postponement of Tuesday night's Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Aston Villa, but with the game being rearranged for January 14, Rovers now face the prospect of four matches in 10 days.

Fulham visit Ewood Park in between the two semi-final encounters with Villa, but before all that Blackburn travel to Manchester City on Monday night looking for their first win in the Premier League since November, a run which has left them just three points above the relegation zone in 13th place.

With Allardyce having already indicated that he is unlikely to make many signings during the transfer window, Rovers' squad looks set to be stretched to the limit over a vital period which could make or break their season.

But after seeing a side featuring nine changes hold their own during the second half of last Saturday's FA Cup defeat at Villa, Allardyce is convinced the group of players currently at his disposal have got what it takes to handle the schedule ahead.

"Normally it (fixture congestion) happens at Christmas time - we normally suffer that and in January it eases off somewhat, but not when you get to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup and then your Premier League matches," Allardyce said.

"There seems to be more Premier League matches fitted in midweek this year than ever before.

"But we have got the squad to accept that type of pressure and some of the players who played against Aston Villa - even though we didn't get the result in the end - have showed that they are more than capable of stepping in when needs be, which is a good thing from my point of view.

"We'll have to use the squad to its maximum potential again over the next few days."

With City's clash against Manchester United in the other Carling Cup semi-final also called off this week due to snowy conditions in the north west, both sides go into Monday night's match after an unexpected period without first-team football.

Allardyce admitted the cancellation had come as a massive disappointment to his players but having advised them to stay at home for two days during the worst of the weather, he is hopeful they will feel the benefit of some extra rest.

"The postponement has disrupted us because we were ready for it (the match)," Allardyce said.

"It's the biggest game of the season and I think the lads were well prepared for it, even with the weather being so bad.

"We'd had a very good day the day before at Ewood Park, got our tactics together on how we want to approach the Villa game and reminded ourselves that the last time we played them at Ewood we managed to win 2-1 (in September), which was a very good performance and a very good victory.

"I think the lads went away and were looking with confidence to playing the game. As always you start building yourself up and up a few days before and then you've got the let down when it's called off.

"They have hopefully used those two days to their advantage in terms of resting, getting recovered and getting the batteries charged up even more for the hectic period that lies ahead."



Source: Team Talk

Source: Team Talk