Opportunity To Impress, Says ManagerGary Bowyer has challenged his players to give him a selection headache by impressing against Bolton Wanderers in the EFL Cup this evening.
The manager is expected to rotate his squad options for the first round tie at Bloomfield Road, with injury set to rule out a couple of starters against Exeter City.
It means that players that come in to the side will be afforded the opportunity to stake a claim for a spot in the eleven that faces Morecambe at the weekend.
"It's another opportunity to try and win a game of football. We've got to take into consideration the injuries that we picked up on Saturday and see who has fully recovered to try and put a team together to go forward and try and get through to the next round," Bowyer said.
"Whoever we play, they've got to put a case forward for being involved against Morecambe on Saturday if they didn't play against Exeter. I'm really looking forward to watching how they respond and take the challenge on."
Danny Philliskirk was one of three players forced off due to injury on Saturday and he definitely won't be involved against the club's League One opponents.
"He's out, he won't play. Kyle Vassell took a knock so we'll see how he is, Bright is OK that was just cramp and not his calf, and one or two others have bumps and bruises. For some it was the first game of 90 minutes of pre-season and the start of the season so we'll have to monitor them as well."
The enforced changes against Exeter ruled out a debut appearance from on-loan Leicester City man Michael Cain, though the 21-year-old will take to the field tonight.
"Michael will feature. On Saturday circumstances dictated our substitutions rather than us picking and choosing. He'll certainly be involved at some point in the game," the manager confirmed.
"He's only had three training sessions with us so he's still getting to know the boys, but already on the training pitch we've seen the quality that he possesses with the ball at his feet."
Bolton, also under new first-team management this season, have plenty of cup experience in the dugout, with Phil Parkinson guiding Bradford City to the final of this competition in 2013.
"Phil Parkinson has got a history of cup runs with Bradford City and he did remarkably well there. He finds himself going into a situation where it is a bit different for him, with the club and the number of players he's got. He's got a massive squad and the ability to rotate so whoever they play again is going to provide us with a big challenge," Bowyer added.