Seven’s magnificent as a new benchmark

Ian Holloway

Ian Holloway

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IAN Holloway is celebrating after being told he can name seven substitutes next season.

The manager was restricted to five replacements during the last campaign and wasn’t happy.

He had grown used to seven subs, having been allowed that number in the Premier League the previous season.

And for an attack-minded manager who likes to name at least three strikers on his bench, the past season’s limit of five subs was a problem.

It meant that in the play-off final at Wembley, for instance, he took a big gamble by not naming a replacement keeper.

Next season, though, with seven substitutes at his disposal in the Championship, he’ll be able to do that.

Derby and Birmingham proposed a return to seven substitutes during the Football League’s conference over the weekend.

The proposal was backed by club chairmen throughout the league and will be implemented next season.

The move to reduce bench sizes to five last summer was a bid to cut costs, with many teams struggling to fund large squads.

However, the decision proved unpopular among many managers and not only because it limited their options during matches.

It also denied some youth team players the chance to break into the senior side.

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