Playing by the rules is giving Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Ferguson a headache.
Ferguson is keen to give players who have not started games recently, plus those returning from injuries, game time in tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Derby County U21s.
But he admits it has been difficult to put together a starting XI which complies with competition rules.
Five of the team must have started the previous league game or will start the next match, presenting Ferguson with an issue.
“I’ll tell you what, it’s not easy,” he told The Star.
“You want this one here, this one there.
“We’re definitely going to leave certain players out, who won’t be involved at all. I need to get some rest into them, mentally and physically.
“We’ve had nine or so players playing every game. Jordan Houghton won’t be involved because barring the last 20 minutes of the first match, he’s played every minute.
“I want other players to get games.
“We have got a squad and I think we showed in the first game [against Mansfield Town] that we’ve got some really good young players.
“The difference with this one is that we’ve got Mathieu Baudry, Paul Keegan, experienced players that need game time. Niall Mason came on and did well on Saturday. Harry Middleton, Liam Mandeville.
“It can prove to be a little bit of a headache.
“We’ve got around it. We will have a team.
“The players were good about it and I’m looking forward to it.”
One way for a club to get around the regulations is to field whatever players they so desire and accept a £5,000 fine from the Football League.
But Ferguson insists that is not how Rovers operate.
He said: “As a club we respect the rules.
“I think that’s important and I think that was always going to be the case in this situation.
“The people who are in charge of the club are very respectful towards that.”
Young forwards Mandeville and Alfie Beestin are both set to start for Rovers at the Keepmoat tonight.
French defender Baudry is set for his first start since his summer switch from Leyton Orient and Ferguson suggested he is likely to play the full 90 minutes.