Moore outlines FA Cup selection plans

DARREN Moore says he will continue to rotate his first-team squad as Albion prepare for their fifth game in a fortnight.

The gaffer has made a total of seven changes in the Baggies’ last two fixtures in an effort to keep players fresh for the final 20 Sky Bet Championship fixtures.  

And Moore admits he may take a look at new-boy Mason Holgate and returning loanee Jack Fitzwater when Albion host Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup third round on Saturday (ko 12.30pm). 

“It has been a demanding Christmas period and I’ve had to chop and change where I’ve seen fit,” he said. 

“This is the fifth game in 15 days so we’ll again assess the squad and if need be I will rotate. I’ll chop and change where I see fit. 

“We’ll look at the players today (Friday) and assess them. If need be I will make changes. 

“‘Fitzy’ is part of the squad after coming back from Walsall and it gives us an opportunity to get some eyes on players that have been out on loan. Kane Wilson is also back in the building and it gives us a chance to see our loan players and how they are progressing. 

“‘Fitzy’ has got every chance of being in the squad. He’s done really, really well at Walsall and it’s fantastic to see his progression. He’s a young player who has leadership qualities and over the last year he has developed really well. 

“He’s a credit to himself in terms of his development at Walsall.” 

On Holgate, he added: “I’m delighted to bring Mason here and I’m delighted for the supporters to see another acquisition for the football club. 

“Mason is a young, talented player and for one so young he has great experience. He’s someone I wanted to bring in at the start of the season but it was understandable that Everton did not want to let him go. He will bring a new dimension to us and I’m really pleased he’s here.

“I’m looking forward to the supporters seeing him play and perform for the football club.”

Moore will assess the “knocks and bruises” sustained by his squad during the festive period ahead of Saturday’s cup clash -  but admits it may prove too soon for Dwight Gayle, who continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. 

“Dwight is doing well but I think the game here tomorrow might be a bit too soon for him,” he admitted.

“It’s great to have him back on the grass and he’s recovering really well. Hopefully he continues to recover in the same manner and we will assess him again next week. 

“We’ll check on some of the knocks and bruises people have sustained over the Christmas period. We’ll take a look at them today (Friday) and we’ll make decisions based on how they are feeling.  

“The squad is in reasonable shape apart from some scrapes and bruises.” 

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