Boothroyd Spoilt For Choice In Midfield

Last updated : 14 January 2011 By Covsupport News Service/RD

Coventry City manager Aidy Boothroyd faces a different selection dilemma ahead of Saturday's home game with Sheffield United.

Boothroyd has to decide whether he sticks with the midfield that did so well for 80 minutes against Crystal Palace last week or whether to select two of his better midfield players Lee Carsley and Sammy Clingan.

Carsley was rested in the FA Cup third round win over Palace and Clingan has returned to full fitness after an injury layoff, but it would be hard to drop Carl Baker after his contribution to winning the cup tie last week.

The selection problems facing Boothroyd are the sort that managers don't mind too much, he said,
"Sammy is fit after a good week and a half of training with us and Lee is back so it is a nice position to be in."

"I thought Carl Baker did very well and not only put in a real shift for the team without the ball but with the ball he was creative, won us free kicks, got crosses in and played a big part in the goals we scored, so he did himself the world of good, but, like everyone else, one swallow doesn't make a summer for me and I think I have got to be able to trust players week in, week out and know what I am going to get from them."

"In Carl's case, he has been unfortunate with injuries but he has had an opportunity and given me a headache on what I do with all my other options in midfield."

In the absence of Carsley and Clingan last game out, Boothroyd started with Baker wide on the right, Gunnarsson and Michael Doyle in the middle and Gary McSheffrey on the left. He now has to decide whether to stick with these four or whether to introduce Carsley and Clingan. If he does the obvious change would be to drop Gunnarsson and Doyle to the bench.

Boothroyd summed up his conundrum when he said to the CT: "When they've been fit I've generally played Sammy and Cars together in the middle, although I did leave Sammy out to put Michael in because he was playing well. Michael is currently the captain, but Lee' back in contention."

"Aron's played the majority of his games wide but he could say 'I should be playing in the centre.' That's where he wants to play and that's where he plays for his country at full international level Apart from when he decided to go two-footed into Henri Lansbury he can say that he's done really well, so I have to earn my money and decide the best team to pick."

"If we do well, the boys I don't pick will say 'yes, he's got it right'. If we don't, they can say 'he should have played me.'"

Whoever misses out will have to be consoled by Boothroyd and will be tested in his man management skills.

Boothroyd admitted to the CT: "I can't please all of the people all of the time, but that's the job. If I started worrying about what everybody else thought, we'd have a problem.

"I heard Harry Redknapp talking at a seminar not so long ago. Spurs had just beaten Inter Milan, a great result, and yet when he walked into the training ground there were 11 people there that hated him because they weren't playing.

"I don't think my lot hate me, not yet, but I understand that they all want to play and generally I think the players pick the team. They see what's required and they'll either fit in with that or they won't. And if they won't, they can't expect to play."

"I will change a winning team if I think it's necessary, but if a team consistently does what I want it to do, I tend to stay with it. We've always got to be looking to improve and if somebody is flying in training I won't be afraid to pull somebody else out so I can put them in."

"I think I'm firm but fair; I'll always give people a reason why I'm leaving them out and I'll never embarrass them by naming the team late. They all know who's playing well before, and the lads who aren't playing will be told first. They'll also be told what they need to do to get back in, sometimes they'll take it, sometimes they won't but I can't do anything about that."

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