After the busy and injury-filled festive season that once again is leading to calls for a winter break, Chelsea do get somewhat of a break with 10 days off from the Premier League and an opportunity to rest and rotate this weekend in the FA Cup. While Nottingham Forest aren’t exactly pushovers this time around as they challenge for promotion from the second division, even Chelsea’s backups and fringe players should be able to handle the task at hand.
Assistant manager Jody Morris, himself getting a chance at the press conference microphones due to Frank Lampard’s minor illness, assured that there will be some rotation indeed, though he did not go into great detail beyond that. He did confirm that Marcos Alonso and Fikayo Tomori will miss Sunday’s match, but Olivier Giroud could be available.
“Injury-wise, Alonso is looking like he’ll definitely be out and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] is the obvious one. Apart from that, we’re still looking at a few players in the fallout from the Brighton game.
“Fikayo [Tomori] trained today but he’s still not feeling the best himself – there’s been a bit of that about because of the time of year.
“Olivier [Giroud] is alright so we’ll look and see how the lads are feeling. We’ll try to utilise the squad so I’m sure there’ll be a few changes from the Brighton game but we’re not sure how many yet. We will look at how the lads are feeling because after those games, you have to utilise the squad.”
Teams are always banged up at this time of the year, so a bit of rotation would certainly be welcome — as long as we win of course! That hasn’t been easy as of late, especially at home, so perhaps a few fresh(er) faces will do the trick.
“We realise we do have to address our home form. I don’t think it’s just a physical or technical thing but also the mental side when we’re not performing at our best or going through a run of games where the performances are not what they should be. We need to start looking at it and it will certainly be addressed going into Sunday, whether that’s with video or by talking.
“There’s pressure for most teams if you’re at a big club playing at home. You’re expected to be performing better than we are but there’s an element that we can all do better.
“Players need to give the fans something to shout about but sometimes the players need a bit of help from the fans as well. There are moments in games when everyone is frustrated so it’s more about whether we can pull in the same direction and support each other to come through it.”
-Jody Morris; source: Chelsea FC
Lampard tried to rotate the squad for the home match against West Ham United recently, and that backfired. Let’s hope for a better outcome on Sunday.