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Former England boss critical of selecting weakened teams

Ex England coach Sir Bobby Robson has criticised managers' decisions to select weakened teams for cup competitions this week. Sam Allardyce made 11 changes to his side for Blackburn's FA Cup replay at Coventry, then Martin O'Neill and Harry Redknapp then fielded much-changed sides as Aston Villa and Tottenham both tumbled out of the UEFA Cup.

Robson told the Mail on Sunday: "I'm a big admirer of Sam Allardyce. I felt he should have been given more time at Newcastle.

"But sorry, Sam, I cannot agree with your decision to put out a reserve team at Coventry City when a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals was at stake.

"Blackburn have a crucial game at Hull City today.

"But I think the cup result has put extra pressure on them.

"Now they absolutely have to win the match for Sam's line-up to be justified."

The former England boss also questioned O'Neill's selection for the match against CSKA Moscow although he praised Mark Hughes after Manchester City advanced in the same competition.

"Aston Villa have not won a European trophy since 1982, so why did manger Martin O'Neill not give it his very best shot.

"I think Mark Hughes at Manchester City deserves praise for taking the UEFA Cup seriously.

"And if City get to the final while other clubs have a barren season, justice will be done."

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