Fingers Crossed

Glenn Roeder is hoping against hope not to get further injuries ahead of the final preseason game against PSV Eindhoven.

With three goalkeeper in the squad of 17, the squad virtually picks itself, with youngsters Daryl McMahon, Trent McLenehan, and Anton Ferdinand included alongside the less than experienced Shaun Byrne and Richard Garcia, who both got a second half run out in an unfamiliar role on the left at Wycombe on Tuesday.

"I was hoping Michael Carrick could start the game after getting 25 minutes at Wycombe; he was the one bright spot on Tuesday and reminded us all of his quality," says Glenn.

"I was expecting him to then start the game against PSV and although he has not had a setback and there is no actual concern, after training on Thursday he felt he was not quite straight enough, if you want.

"So Michael will be on the bench and at least we will get him onto the pitch in the second half, perhaps for half an hour.

"Rufus Brevett is not quite right; he was also unable to play at Wycombe and because we want him fir for Preston we are not prepared to take any chances.

"Don Hutchison played with a slight knee injury against Wycombe and probably didn't do him or us any favours; he need an injection in his knee with a view that he will be available for the Preston game."

Despite the injuries, Glenn is looking forward to welcoming such prestigious opposition and adds: "It is a huge climax; this a team of the highest quality.

"I went to see them play at Crystal Palace on Tuesday night and they scored after less than a minute.

"Palace tried and worked extremely hard - and I am full of admiration for their work ethic - but from the first minute when they took the lead I have to say PSV were never in danger.

"They passed the ball as well as I have seen any team pass the ball for a long time, very much shorting passing to feet, pass and move, and I have to say sitting there on Wednesday night I thoroughly enjoyed watching their quality.

"They retained the ball easily for long periods, and it was very difficult for Crystal Palace to get the ball off them.

"I don't think a lot of the supporters sitting there realised how difficult it was to get the ball off them - it was the quality of PSV's play.

"They are all top class players and will be expected to go to the second phase of the Champions' League this year.

"They are coached by a world class coach in Gus Hiddink who took South Korea to the semi-finals of the world cup, one of the most highly respected coaches in the game of football and I can't speak highly enough of their performance on Wednesday.

"It is just unfortunate for us that we have picked up three or four niggly injuries that will stop them starting the game for us.

"But it will give an opportunity and be an eye opener for our younger players; I am sure they will be up for the game and will enjoy the experience of playing against such a good team as PSV.

"I don't normally like picking out individual players and the whole team was full of quality from the goalkeeper who was a magnificent user of the ball with his passing through the back but if I was to single out one player on Wednesday it is probably the best midfield player in Holland, van Bommell.

"His display was of the highest quality; I don't think he wasted a ball all night and he scored the goal after less than a minute.

"The goalkeeper made an error and played the ball straight to him on the edge of the box and reminiscent of Eric Cantona he assessed the situation very quickly that the goalkeeper was off the line and just drifted the ball over him into the top corner.

"Really and truly that was it - PSV were in the driving seat.

"It will be good for our supporters to see a team of the highest quality; we purposely decided to have more difficult games this year, in terms of playing the Swedish champions Djurgardens - who incidentally had an excellent draw in Belgrade in the week which gives them a terrific chance of going through to playing Newcastle in the next round - where we earned a good 0-0 draw.

"Without doubt it goes up another couple of levels now, playing the Dutch champions.

"The disappointment so far - in a preseason which I have to say has seen the players still there be excellent in their attitude with a 4-0 win at Bournemouth and a 5-2 win against a good Swedish first division team as well - was the result and performance on Tuesday night against Wycombe, which I didn't expect.

"The manner in which we conceded the goals - and the players will have to agree - was unacceptable and for a team that created seven or eight very good chances, to have only taken one of those at the other end was also disappointing.

"Other than that the preseason had gone particularly well results-wise and performance-wise and the attitude and desire of the players has been terrific.

"The one blip was Tuesday and now we are playing a Champions' League team who are expected to qualify for the next stage and it is probably an opportunity for the younger players to play against the best that they didn't think would come so soon.

"We look forward to it, we must attack the game as best we can, and come out of the game with some credit."

SQUAD: James, Forde, Bywater, Forde, Schemmel, Ferdinand, Repka, Dailly, Byrne, Lee, Cole, Sofiane, Garcia, Carrick, Kanoute, Defoe, McMahon, McLenehan.