Rotherham United are off to Maidenhead on Saturday for the FA Cup first round game – but what will Paul Warne’s starting eleven be?
Although Daniel Iversen has been doing well between the nets it could be that the Millers Boss turns to Lewis Price, who played in the EFL Cup and the two Trophy games this season, for this one.
Adam Thompson has been out injured since joining from stricken club Bury in the summer but came through a Reserve outing yesterday playing ninety minutes in the two-one win over Grimsby Town. Might he be in Warne’s mind to get some minutes on the pitch on Saturday?
Trevor Clarke, who has also been hampered with injury, is going to be missing from next week as he’s been called up for the Republic of Ireland’s U21 squad, and although he probably could do with more time on the pitch he limped off at half-time at Gillingham last weekend and didn’t re-appear for the second half.
This could be a game to give the players on ‘the fringe’ of the first team a start – I’m thinking of Dan Barlaser, who is on loan from Newcastle and maybe a start for Carlton Morris whose last four appearances have been off the bench while Julien Lamy, whose only start has been in the EFL Trophy, might be worth a start. And, of course, this could be a good opportunity for some of the youngsters like defender Jake Cooper to start pushing himself forward.
The FA Cup isn’t usually kind to the Millers – the last time they won a first round tie was in November 2013 when they beat Bradford City three-nil at the New York Stadium – then lost in the second round at home against Rochdale. Although, to be fair, we haven’t played that many first round ties in recent years having been in the Championship that allows you to join in January (although we haven’t won any of those either!).
So, if you was Gaffer would you be starting a strong side in a chance to get through to the next round, would you start a mixture of first team and fringe players and youngsters or would you give the players who haven’t had much game time the nod?
I suppose, in answer to that, you’ve got to really ask ‘what does the FA Cup mean to you’?