Post Match Reaction to City’s disappointing 2-1 defeat to WBA’s second string from The Hawthorns movers and shakers and the VMC Forum history makers…
‘We wanted to win this competition but we couldn’t take any risks…But we play Chelsea at 12.45 on Saturday and have only got 12 or 13 players. The time for players to recover is very short. It needs to be three days’ minimum. It would have been better if the Chelsea game was an evening kick-off.’
City are experiencing something of an injury crisis which is threatening to destabilise the cautious progress made so far this season. In defence, Lescott (again) Kolarov, Richards (again), Boateng and Bridge (again) are all knacked whilst Balotelli and Adebayor (again) remain sidelined in attack.
Ahead of the Chelsea clash, the two main problem areas clearly forced Mancio into placing four kids across the back against West Brom’s reserves, changing the entire XI that beat Wigan and selecting the appallingly incapable Roque Santa Cruz up front who was booed off by City fans when subbed following his 8th appearance in 14 months:
‘I gave the young guys their chance in this game, and if they don’t play then they will never improve. I knew that there was a chance we would lose with six young players, but we did want to win. Saturday is more important, but if I had not so many players injured, I would have put out a stronger side.’
Many Blues are asking today why so many players are injured so early in the season.
Michael Appleton, WBA Assistant Coach:
‘It was a great result. Really positive. We made numerous changes and the lads responded well…We were second guessing their side bearing in mind they have Chelsea on Saturday but there was still a lot of experience in the side.
‘They brought the cavalry on at the end and we were under the cosh for the last fifteen minutes but we did enough to win.’
‘The blame tonight HAS to be laid firmly at Mancini’s door for making wholesale changes in an ALL PREMIERSHIP tie, where we have not won for the last 5 trips. I don’t agree to looking forward and all this saving the players for Saturday is wrong…the strongest team SHOULD have been picked, let Saturday take care of itself, WBA was the most important midweek match, not Chelsea on Saturday…Mancini needs to wake up and issue an apology to the fans for his cock up. So no more of this ‘one less cup to worry about’ – we have been saying that for far to long…’
‘What on Earth possessed him to go with so many inexperienced players?’
‘…Can we not just release Crocky from his contract so he can join another club outside the window? It’s not like he’s doing anything other than wasting space…why is Javan Vidal still at the club? He’s what, 21 now? Never looked like breaking through before, looks less likely now. The back four were not too clever tonight, expected a bit more from Boyata, but others have said, we needed an older head in there – even if it was Micah! Guidetti looks a good prospect, just wish he had played as an out and out striker rather than as a winger…Jo? Well, he does keep scoring, and I’d definitely put him ahead of Crocky now.’
‘…could have been a lot worse if Given hadn’t been on top form.’