Coyle's in cup selection poser
OWEN Coyle is mulling over whether to stick or twist over his team selection for this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final at Spurs.
With a vital Premier League clash at Aston Villa looming, the Whites boss must decide whether to keep faith with the side which carved out victory over QPR, or rest some of his top performers.
Ivan Klasnic made a solid case for inclusion at White Hart Lane with his winning goal against the Hoops, but Chris Eagles, Kevin Davies, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Fabrice Muamba are also pushing for starting places.
Marcos Alonso also came through a reserve team game in midweek and has made himself publicly available for selection after three months out with a broken foot.
Even though a second successive semi-final remains tantalisingly close, Coyle knows Premier League safety remains the top priority, and that could well play a major part in his selection for Saturday evening.
David Ngog – perhaps one of the players most likely to be rested in North London – has talked up Wanderers’ chances of progressing to the last four, and another Wembley appearance.
The Frenchman understands his side go into the game as serious underdogs but reckons their mental state must be right if they are to upset the form book.
“It’s a great game to play against a top team,” he said.
“But we have got the quality to do it, as long as we prepare really well. It is a great opportunity to play at Wembley but we’re not there yet. There is still one game to play and it’s a hard one, so we have to be ready.
“They are favourites, but in football anything can happen, so we have to believe.”
Wanderers’ home game with West Brom, originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, May 5, has been moved to Sunday, May 6 at 2pm, because of the FA Cup final. The game still remains subject to change, should the Whites win their potential semi-final on the weekend of April 14, or the game be picked for television coverage.