City assistant manager Mark Bowen thinks that strength in depth will be vital in what will be a demanding 2008/09 season.
The former Welsh international is well aware of the rigours of adding the UEFA Cup to a busy domestic season, having been part of new City boss Mark Hughes’ backroom team when Blackburn Rovers played in that played in that competition in both the last two seasons.
“It’s a longer and more intensive campaign if you progress in Europe, which is what we want to do,” asserts the former Norwich City favourite.
“The strength of the squad will be called into question throughout the season. There will be injuries throughout the season, so we have to be prepared because we will be fighting on four fronts rather than three. I hope that goes on right to the end of the season, it will be a tough campaign but one that we will relish.”
Despite pre-season training not starting for another month, Mark is already starting to assess the City squad and where it needs strengthening, and he adds:
“A number of players came in at the start of last season that seemed to settle in quite quickly, but looking at the squad we have got to look at the balance of it. There are certain areas we need to look at, but there are some good players that achieved last season.
“Yes, there was a quiet end to the season but we will look to tweak a little bit here and there. There is certainly the basis of a strong squad that will enable us to challenge for the places where we want to go.”