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Allardyce bemoans bare bones

Filed: Tuesday, 15th January 2013
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce has spoken about his defensive worries 24 hours ahead of the FA Cup third round replay against Manchester United.

Allardyce takes his injury-ravaged squad to Old Trafford tomorrow night hoping to upset the odds and beat the Premier League leaders on their own patch, ten days after Robin Van Persie's 90th-minute equaliser earned Man Utd a replay.

However the manager faces a major dilemma in defence with only THREE regular first team defenders considered to be fully fit. "It's not great from a defensive point of view," he told the assembled media this morning.

"With James Collins going down and with both George McCartney and Joey O'Brien unavailable it's very desperate in that particular area - but with the window being open, I can do something about it.

"It's less than bare bones at the moment, so it gives me great difficulty going to Old Trafford with only Guy Demel, James Tomkins and Winston Reid of our senior defenders fit. After that we're down to young lads like Jordan Spence and Danny Potts.

"The trouble is, if I don't rest them and they get injured, I'm in trouble against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. If I lose any of those senior three, I move into bigger problems.

"We'll have to take a big look at the squad and try to plan a different way of playing as well as a team that's going to be quite different, based on the number of injuries I've got and the big game we've got on Saturday as well."

However there was some good news for Allardyce with the return od Mo Diame, who is expected to play some part in tomorrow night's fixture.

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