Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce insists he is not prepared to risk his side’s Premier League safety for the sake of an FA Cup run as the Eagles prepare for their third round replay against Bolton.
Palace host Allardyce’s former club, who are third in League One but lost at home to Swindon on Saturday, having played out a goalless draw at the Macron Stadium earlier this month.
Allardyce is yet to taste victory in five matches as Palace boss as he bids to revive the Selhurst Park club’s fortunes and guide them away from the relegation zone, and makes no apology for planning to rotate his squad.
“I can select the same team against Bolton and win and give us 15 per cent less chance against Everton [in the Premier League on Saturday],” said Allardyce.
“Everton don’t play this week at all. If you want to give yourself the best chance against Everton, you have to change the team. It’s a very good opportunity for squad players to play, those saying ‘get me in the team gaffer and I’ll show you want I can do’.
“We’ve got several players who can’t play through injury, two at the Africa Cup of Nations and we’ll still be fielding an experienced side.”
Allardyce bolstered his squad with the £12.5m purchase of Jeffrey Schlupp from defending champions Leicester last week and is hopeful of securing the services of Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson.
Former England manager Allardyce signed Jenkinson on loan while boss of West Ham and although there remain hurdles to clear in that deal, the 62-year-old is adamant that further signings are likely to emanate from the continent.
“I think that’s down to negotiations between the chairman and the player’s agent,” added Allardyce. “While we appear to have an agreement with Arsenal, that agreement hasn’t reached a conclusion, so that’s hanging in the balance.
“We’re still searching for players. We’ve exhausted this country, we’re more looking at the European element now, because of the vast cost of the players in this country.”