23 September 2014 18:38
Chelsea assistant Steve Holland has confirmed that manager Jose Mourinho will shuffle his pack against Bolton Wanderers in the League Cup.
The Premier League leaders welcome Dougie Freedman’s side to Stamford Bridge in the third round on Wednesday, in what is their second of four matches in 10 days across three separate competitions.
Chelsea drew 1-1 with Manchester City in the top flight on Sunday and after facing Bolton, Mourinho’s men host Aston Villa on Saturday before a trip to take on Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Champions League next Tuesday.
And Holland revealed in a press conference that Mourinho perceives Wednesday’s tie as a perfect chance to tinker with his playing resources.
“We haven’t finalised the squad for tomorrow yet,” he said. “We have looked at the players following the game against Manchester City and it is an opportunity to rotate, we will do that for sure, but in terms of who is playing and who isn’t, that is unclear.
“For the first weeks of the season we have had one game a week and the international break. Now the two-games-a-week cycle kicks in and it is important you have a pool of players who are ready to handle that schedule.
“Last week was the first European matches and there were four English clubs in the Champions League and two in the Europa League, and only one managed to be unbeaten in the games before and after the European game and in the European game, so it is that time of the season when it is demanding and we are very fortunate to have great depth in quality.
“We have a small group of players who I am sure have been frustrated not to have played more and will possibly have the opportunity to show what they can do tomorrow.”
First-choice striker Diego Costa – whose hamstring problems mean he is likely to be rested against Bolton – could be replaced by either Loic Remy or Didier Droba, with the latter starting in last week’s 1-1 draw with Schalke in the Champions League.
“You always want your strikers to be scoring, and Loic appeared briefly against Swansea and got off and running very quickly which was great for him, and we have three strikers we are very happy with and we are confident whoever we select will be very dangerous,” Holland added.
“Didier hasn’t had many match minutes and he will score goals, there is no doubt. He came very close to scoring against Schalke, it was a matter of inches, and the next time that one will go in.
“That will be a special moment and is one the supporters will be looking forward to.
“His role has been a very important one but often a cameo role in matches which he was very prepared for when he joined the club in the summer; a role to make an impact when legs are tired and use his vast experience at vital moments in big matches.”