Sunderland travel to Blackpool in the second round of the League Cup on Tuesday evening and manager Lee Johnson is keen to distribute the minutes across his squad, he told ChronicleLive.
The Black Cats have began 2021/22 in impressive fashion, with four wins out of five in all competitions and will be looking for an upset at Bloomfield Road with the Premier League big boys arriving in the third round.
Johnson said: “I want to progress, I want to win the game at Blackpool.
“I’m going to try and find the balance between blooding a few new players, a few young players as well, but also having that strong spine that we need to go and be competitive in the game.”
New additions Frederik Alves and Niall Huggins are likely to play their first minutes in the famous red and white, a good platform to showcase their talents as Blackpool will be expected to be prioritising their league commitments in their team selection.
The Tangerines have drawn two and lost two at the start of this Championship season and travel to The Den to face Millwall at the weekend, Neil Critchley will be desperate for their winless run to end as soon as possible.
Considering they are currently in a much more secure predicament in the third tier than Blackpool are in the second, Sunderland may take this one a little more seriously than the hosts.
A cup run is great for the finances of any club outside the top-flight, and going deep in the League Cup could even deepen Lee Johnson’s pockets when the January transfer window comes around if funds are made available.
It will be interesting to see the likes of Alves and Huggins on Tuesday evening, particularly the latter who has signed on a four year deal.
Johnson may have one eye on the club’s hosting of second placed Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, therefore it is likely the second string get the chance to show the manager what they can offer.