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Boss to rotate squad in friendlies

Stuart Pearce Manchester City season 0506

Stuart Pearce Manchester City season 0506

Stuart Pearce will rotate his squad of players in the pre-season double header which opens at Tranmere.

The manager will give all his players forty five minutes of football in each of the two friendlies.

The Blues travel to Tranmere on Friday evening and then Macclesfield on Saturday afternoon.

The manager is without Antoine Sibierski, Nedum Onuoha and Nicky Weaver while Jihai Sun will join the squad in Thailand but the rest of the players are fit.

"We are looking to field eight seniors and three younger players in the first half," explained the manager.

"The same the again in the second half and then reverse it the following day against Macclesfield.

"That way each player will complete forty five minutes in each of the games rather than a full ninety minutes in just one game. I think that is more beneficial for the players at this stage."

And while the boss is hoping to chalk up his first victories as he prepares for his first full season as a manager in the top flight he is also hoping for an injury free weekend.

"I always like to win matches there is no doubt about that whether it be a friendly or not.

"My main criterion come Sunday morning when we will have a training session before we board the plane for Thailand is to have all my players with forty five minutes under their belt and to be injury free."

And he admits that the two games are a great opportunity for the younger players to impress.

"I will let the younger members of the squad play it as they see it. There is an overbalance of younger players at the moment but all that does is give them a chance.

"One of my coaches said to me the other day that if he was a young player he would believe that he would have a chance in this squad.

"I am hoping that one or two young players will surprise us and make the breakthrough.

"If only one matures to put pressure on a first team player that would be great.

"They will certainly get their chance this pre-season. Micah Richards and Ishmael Miller have been with us since day one.

"They came up from the Academy and any player that blossoms there we will bring them into the first team squad as quickly as possible.

"Micah Richards and Ishmael Miller are still young but are built like men and they will be given an opportunity with us and we will see how they get on."

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Antoine Sibierski 0506

The French utility player has returned to pre-season training but has now been sidelined with a hamstring problem.