Date:Thursday September 21 2006
Chris Coleman has refused to take the blame for his teams bad performance against Wycombe Wanderers in the 2nd round of the Carling Cup last night.
The Cottagers were bundled out of the competition at the first fence by Division Two leaders Wycombe, who managed a famous 2-1 win over the Cottagers.
Jermaine Easter and Tommy Mooney gave Wanderers a two-goal lead by half time, Fulham failed to overcome Wycombe amid a flurry of wasted opportunities.
Coleman's team selection obviously attracted criticism after the loss, with few of the team that played last night likely to be picked for the game against Chelsea on Saturday.
But Coleman whilst having to contend with a growing injury list defended his decision to rest several senior players by insisting the side was still strong enough to beat Wycombe.
'The team we put out on the pitch had seven internationals. We're not happy at going out and we don't want to lose any game,' he said.
'We've rested a lot of players because we had to but the team we put on the pitch was good enough to win the game. We didn't (win) because of our first-half performance.'
We have now lost five midfielders to injury and Coleman is praying that the influential Papa Bouba Diop returns from his thigh problem in time to face Jose Mourinho's side.
'Before we start thinking about a team for Chelsea we have to see what bodies are available,' he said.
'We're missing a lot of key players and it's going to be a battle for us. If we were running out with our strongest side it would be hard enough.
'But with four or five key players out you know you'll be up against it. Papa Bouba has a 70-30 chance of making it.'
Coleman's mind immediately turned to Chelsea after the Carling Cup result.
I wonder what delights he has in store for us at the weekend? We won this fixture last term but with the injury list getting longer and longer I do not hold out much hope now!!
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