Substitutions justified

Last updated : 09 January 2014 By Dave Moore

Latics boss Lee Johnson has explained why he made his controversial substitutions in the FA Cup tie at Liverpool. He took off Jonson Clarke-Harris and Adam Rooney who were replaced with debutant Gary Harkins and James Dayton in the 61st minute. Johnson said that he wanted to add new difficulties for the Liverpool defence by manoeuvring the ball better in the opposition half.

He said, “Gary is a very good player; people have seen a glimpse of his quality on the ball. I heard a few rumblings about taking off Clarke-Harris at Liverpool. But the fact was we needed to get up the pitch more than we were, by making some better angles of attack. He is an influence both in the dressing room and on the pitch. In fairness to Adam, he is a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. But he makes very good decisions. With our squad being so young, we have players who make rash decisions sometimes - he is definitely not one of those. He is good around the place and the lads respect him. We lost Matteo Lanzoni and have replaced him with another valued member of the squad. He has pedigree as well, having been captain of Doncaster.”