Jul 06, 2023

Southampton FC's Jones hints at fresh rotation in Blackpool team news

NATHAN Jones hints at rotating his XI for Saturday's FA Cup fourth round meeting with Blackpool and adds that there are "a few players coming back".

The boss stopped short of confirming what players will be available who could not play versus Newcastle United on Tuesday with a reluctancy to reveal his team.

But Saints face another week of three matches with Blackpool, the EFL Cup semi-final's second leg at Newcastle and a league trip to Brentford all to come by close of play next weekend.

Jones admitted he will "use the squad" at St Mary's this Saturday, but he is already limited by the suspension of Duje Caleta-Car and with both Jan Bednarek and James Bree cup-tied.

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The likes of Lewis Payne and Dom Ballard played for the B team in Middlesbrough in Premier League 2 on Friday, but Jimmy-Jay Morgan – who faces an uncertain future – was not involved.

Previewing the Blackpool clash, Jones said: "There’ll be a few coming back and a few who we will be able to include whom we couldn't on Tuesday night, so that is a positive and good thing taking us forward for the rest of the season."

He added: "What we have to do is use the squad, the schedule at the moment is relentless so we can't just go with the same XI.

"We need to pick a team that is capable of winning the game but also realise we’ve got a cup semi-final against a side that won't have to play this week and will have a rest.

"As soon as we fly back from Newcastle we have to prepare for a tough game away at Brentford, so the schedule is really hectic.

"What we have to do is respect all three competitions, there is an order or priority but we have to be competitive in all games, treat them with respect and try to win all three."

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