British players perform better in FA Cup, says Wilkins

Ray Wilkins says that he has previously advised managers to play as many British players as possible in tricky FA Cup matches.


Ray Wilkins has told Sky Sports News, broadcast on February 22 at 10.30am, that he has previously encouraged managers to play British players in the FA Cup.


For varying reasons, team selections for FA Cup fixtures has been a hot topic of debate over the weekend, with Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini coming under scrutiny for fielding five first-team debutants against Chelsea.


While previewing Manchester United's trip to Shrewsbury Town on Monday night, Wilkins was asked how Louis van Gaal should approach the fixture against the League One outfit as they look to return to winning ways after Thursday's defeat to FC Midtjylland in the Europa League.


Wilkins spoke about his time as an assistant manager, and suggested that he feels that British players perform better in the FA Cup due to their greater affinity with the competition.


Wilkins said: "The only advice I used to give at Chelsea is when you go north or to a lower league club, play as many British-based players that you have.

"That's the advice I would give Van Gaal at Manchester United because they will be up for a fight. It's important that when you go north or west on a cold, blustery night that you have people there who want to fight, and want to fight for the club. I would play all of the British players that are available."

Wilkins is known for working at Stamford Bridge as assistant to Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti, while he has also featured on the backroom staff at Watford when Gianluca Vialli was in charge at Vicarage Road during the 2001-02 campaign.

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