West Ham boss Allardyce unlikely to make major changes for Doncaster

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has admitted that the postponement of Tuesday’s Carling Cup clash with Aldershot Town will make it difficult for him to make changes for Saturday’s Championship trip to Doncaster Rovers.

Allardyce was looking to blood youngsters against the Shots, but also to give valuable time on the field to some senior players who missed out on the opening-day defeat at Cardiff City only to have his plans scuppered.

“That was going to be the big thing on Tuesday night,” revealed the manager. “Abdoulaye Faye, Carlton Cole and even Julien Faubert might have made it and to get into a competitive game like that would have upped the game time for the players.

“It does make it difficult to pick them from the start on Saturday. We need to try and get a bit of continuity and in the league to play your best side all the time, but I’m not really sure at these early stages, what my best side is.”

Carlton Cole was only substitute last Sunday, but Allardyce confirmed that was a lack of match practise more than anything else that saw him sitting on the bench.

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“It was a lack of game time,” he said. “He had little problems and niggles and so he hadn’t been out on the training ground as often as we would have wanted and hadn’t got the game time in.”

Jack Collison will be vying for a start at Doncaster after playing 45 minutes for Wales in their friendly defeat against Australia, while Allardyce is still waiting on the fitness of winger Pablo Barrera who was with Mexico for the friendly with the United States in Philadelphia.

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“We are waiting to hear whether Pablo Barrera is okay,” said Allardyce. “If he is, it is only about the cost of the journey on him. Is the cost too great to get him ready for Doncaster?”

George McCartney has arrived on a season-long loan from Sunderland, but will not feature and that means Herita Ilunga is likely to keep his place, despite the mistake that proved so costly against the Bluebirds.

Allardyce stressed that he has been impressed by the Congo international full back.

“I thought Herita, apart from the unfortunate slip at the end, got better as the game went on and you have to bear in mind where he was last season,” said the boss.

“He was a cast off, wasn’t part of West Ham in terms of the first team squad and that ultimately has a big mental effect on you as a player. He showed some good qualities in the game and for me that will only get better.

“He’s got to shake off that mistake, it’s like anything else. You’ve got to put it to one side, learn the lesson from it and make sure you don’t repeat it when it crops up again.

“We all make mistakes and as defenders what you hope when they happen is that you can get away with them.”

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