Meulensteen defends team selection

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen defended his decision to make wholesale changes for the FA Cup tie against Sheffield United.

Youngsters Muamer Tankovic and Josh Passley were among those selected at Bramall Lane, where Hugo Rodallega’s 75th-minute equaliser rescued a fourth-round replay for the Whites.

Meulensteen argued that he had no choice but to keep his first-choice players fresh for a crucial league match against strugglers Swansea on Tuesday.

“I think every person with a bit of commonsense can understand it,” he said.

“If one person respects the FA Cup it’s me, and I’d love to stay in it, but we go to Swansea on Tuesday. That game is important to us.

“You have to maximise your possibilities and minimise your risk, and that’s what we are doing. Every squad member is valuable and has to deliver when called upon.”

The winners of the replay will be at home to either Nottingham Forest or Preston in the next round.

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