Roy Hodgson is confident that with the players he has at his disposal, he can juggle playing in both the Premier League and the Carabao Cup.
Ahead of tomorrow’s fourth round tie at Bristol City, the Eagles boss has suggested that he will make changes following the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, and even with a big game on Saturday against fellow strugglers West Ham United on the horizon, he is hoping that a strong line-up at Ashton Gate will see the Eagles into the last eight of the competition for the first time since 2012.
Speaking ahead of the game, he said: “I’m hoping that I’ll have a strong team going to Bristol, and we’re going to go there and try to win. It’s not a question of us not caring about Tuesday because we have a match on Saturday - at the moment I think we’re capable of doing both of those things.
“It’s not difficult to play on two fronts; the top teams in the country are doing it on three fronts because they have European football as well as the League Cup. It’s only a question of how I interpret the work priority; every game is a chance for us to show that we’re a good team and get results.”
When asked about which players he may want to have a look at, Hodgson – whose only injury concerns remain Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham – explained: “I am hoping to rotate the squad because we have some very good players. For example we have two centre-backs who played virtually all of last year in Tomkins and Kelly and at the moment they’re not getting a game, so it would be interesting for me to see them.
“We’ve got a Welsh international goalkeeper on the bench as well, so there are lots of situations like that where people are crying out for a game, and it would be wrong of me not to give them a chance in a midweek game to show what they can do.
“We don’t have an enormous amount of midweek games, and once we’re out of this cup we won’t have any more until we perhaps play in the FA Cup, so we have no reason to protect ourselves. It’s more of a question of getting one or two players who are champing at the bit the opportunity to show what they can do.”