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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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FA Cup selection headache for Barrow boss Bayliss

BLUEBIRDS boss Dave Bayliss has a headache on his hands as he prepares for Saturday’s FA Cup second round tie against Macclesfield.

Barrow have a great chance of making the third round of the competition for the third time in five years if they can overcome the Silkmen at Holker Street.

But the AFC manager finds himself in the enviable position of having too many players competing for too few places following Tuesday’s FA Trophy first round replay win over Hyde.

Sean McConville, Paul Rutherford, Tom Anderson and Gavin Skelton all came into the Barrow side for the 1-0 victory and all impressed.

With midfielder Garry Hunter pushing for a spot, having been rested to avoid him picking up a fifth yellow card and thus a suspension on Tuesday, and Sean Hessey and Joe Jackson eager to regain starting positions, Bayliss must choose his best 11 to beat Macclesfield and set up a potential big-money tie in January.

He said: “It gives us a problem. The lads who came in – Sean McConville, Rutherford, Gav Skelton, Tom Anderson – really came in and put in a good performance. That gives us one or two problems for Saturday, which are problems that we like.

“It’s not nice not playing players, but you can only play 11 at one time and it’s a squad game – we left Garry Hunter out of the 16 the other night because he is on four bookings.

“It gives us another option. We know we can play two different ways and it is good that the players can adapt as well.”

Another man who returned to action for Barrow on Tuesday was James Owen.

The midfielder came off the bench for the final 10 minutes having been absent from the AFC line-up in recent weeks following a heart scare.

Owen looked to have lost none of his trademark aggression during his spell on the field, and Bayliss knows he is another player eager to feature on Saturday.

“James gives us the option, he can shore things up and he was back to his old self – putting tackles in, winning the ball, giving the ball simple,” the AFC manager said. “He’s another good option to have.

“We didn’t play Garry Hunter because he is on four bookings, so we didn’t really want to risk losing another player for Saturday.

“It’s good that we can change three or four players and still put a performance on like that.”

Loan man Anderson is likely to continue in the centre of defence alongside Mike Pearson, with Barrow’s other teenage loan centre-half Neill Byrne cup-tied, having played for parent club Rochdale already in the competition.

Despite having those two men, Bayliss still intends to look for a further option at the back come the January transfer window and said: “We need to look at players in January.

“We know the areas we need to strengthen.

“We need a really dominant centre-back in there – we have lacked that a little bit.

“Tom is only young and I thought he did really well, but he is only learning the game and that is a massive, crucial area of the pitch for us.

“We need to get that right, but we have got what we’ve got for the moment. We have brought Neill Byrne in and he will be good competition for Tom – it’s up to them who keeps the shirt.

“Mike Pearson has been exceptional, so it is whoever is good enough to play alongside Mike.”

Have your say

good luck to afc for tomorrow from the bottom of my heart.
the soccer deserve as much success as they can get.

Posted by cuffy on 30 November 2012 at 10:20

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