Today (home to Preston) we played with 10 men for virtually the entire match, against the opposition's 16 and the ref so 10 vs 17. And with quick turnarounds between all games, those 10 are going to be absolutely exhausted for the next games, which we may well lose as a result. Instead, half of them could have been rested with fresh legs coming on. Someone like Jordon Ibe will never become match fit if he's never played. Louie Sibley will never recover his scoring touch for the first team if he only gets a couple of minutes here and there.
What on earth is possessing Rooney and his coaches not to use any substitutes during the main game, rather than the 5 permitted? Why do they handicap the team this way against the opposition's fresher players?
To add to the stupidity, in both of the last 2 games Rooney has brought on a time-wasting sub in the 95th of 95 minutes, leading the referee inevitably to play an additional 90 seconds, today losing us the match. Referees cannot be seen to be falling for a timewasting exercise, so play on for longer in order to prove the point.
Rooney has to take a good look at himself after today's loss and sit down with the other coaches and maybe McClaren to work out how to make effective use of 5 substitutes from now on. We should be making at least 4 changes every game to keep the players fresh and add to our attacking threat against tired defenders.