It was a bit of a surprise on Saturday when both Andy Carroll and Nile Ranger were left out of the starting eleven for the home game with Bristol City.
Andy Carroll – started on the bench Saturday
It had been expected that Marlon Harewood would start and that probably 18 year-old Nile Ranger would make way, but Chris decided to have Danish International Peter Lovenkrands partner Marlon up front, and it shows that Chris has some choice now in some positions.
Chris has to start to try to use the squad, as small as it is, to give players a rest, as the games in this division continue to come thick and fast. It’s equivalent to being in the Premier League and also having a good run in Europe, as most weeks we will play a couple of games.
Chris talked about Andy today:
“Andy’s done very well for us,” “He’s played three games on the spin having been out for a month.”
“I felt midweek he dipped a little bit towards the end of the game, and when you’ve got a squad, you’ve got to use it.”
“We know Lovenkrands is a different type of player, and I just felt at home, we could freshen things up a little bit.”
Those are good tactics by Chris, who seems to be coming more and more into his own as a manager, as the season progresses.
Certainly the players have tremendous admiration for him, both as a coach and for his unbelievable work ethic.
He is becoming a great example for the squad, and some of his many good points seem to be rubbing of on our players.
And it doesn’t hurt that the man is as straight as a dye.