• Capital One Cup

Wolves to ring changes for Chelsea tie

ESPN staff
September 25, 2012
Wolves boss Stale Solbakken is hoping to cause an upset against Chelsea © Getty Images

Stale Solbakken will be aiming to cause a split in decades-old family loyalties when he plots a Capital One Cup upset with in-form Wolves against Chelsea on Tuesday.

Molineux boss Solbakken has recovered from a shaky start to his career in England by overseeing victories in the club's last three Championship matches.

Now he comes face to face in a third-round tie at Stamford Bridge with the club his father Svein supported from childhood.

"My father was a big fan, so I grew up through David Webb and Kerry Dixon," the manager said. "I think I know all their players from the last 35 years - their names and backgrounds - and I've seen them on TV for a decade.

"He was told by his mates to be a Chelsea fan. Sometimes back home you are told what to do! But I don't think he has been so interested since all the money came into the game and I think he supports Wolverhampton Wanderers now."

Solbakken Jnr, who grew up a Liverpool supporter, saw his Copenhagen team come off second best in two Champions League meetings with Chelsea in 2010-11 despite what he called a 'lucky' 0-0 draw in London. And he doffs his cap to Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo who, from much less experience in the competition, has already won it.

Solbakken will change virtually his entire side for the clash - confident that he will escape the penalty that came when Mick McCarthy did likewise for a midweek Premier League fixture at Manchester United three seasons ago. Wolves were then handed a suspended £25,000 fine.

"Nine or ten of the players from Saturday will not start," he added. "I would have made a few changes anyway for a Championship game because this is a crazy league. I think they try to set a world record for the number of fixtures in a season.

"Playing players in four games in nine days would be stupid, so many of them will have a deserved break. But those I play are hungry, have waited for a chance and will be fresh. They can do what my usual team does, perhaps a better job because they are fresher.

"Some individual can show he is better than the ones I have been playing. It's a very tough game for us but we have nothing to lose. The players should trust themselves and go in with no fear. They should try to play without being naive.

"They have shown that, even if we have a long way to go, it should be better when we all learn more about each other."

Solbakken was not shocked by the decision of Chelsea skipper John Terry to end his international career and does not expect to see him lining up from the start in the cup clash.

"I think he could still do a job for England and he could maintain that role for one or two more years until after the Brazil World Cup," he said. "But it's not a big surprise. It's good to make your own decisions and it's understandable.

"He was rested at the weekend and I've a sneaky feeling he will be rested for this game as well."

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