manager Gordon Strachan has withdrawn teenaged striker Gary McSheffrey from the heat of
battle for the youngsters own good.
The local youngster, who became Coventrys youngest ever player last season at
Aston Villa, celebrated his 17th birthday in August, but found himself in the
first team in both Worthington Cup matches against Tranmere Rovers.
"It has affected his football," said Strachan. "That is the problem with
playing youngsters when they are not ready. We were forced to put him in the side because
"But he is realising that he still has a lot to learn. I watched him in the
reserves and he is clearly affected. He has been playing youth football, under-19s,
reserves and first team.
"It is too much and we have to protect him. He will go back into the junior ranks
and continue to learn his trade. I will be having a chat with him to explain the position.
I want him to be really ready next time his chance comes along."
Strachan meanwhile has a problem finding strikers.
"We have a team full of midfield players," he said.
Moroccan midfielder Moustapha Hadji will again play up front alongside Robbie Keane
because strikers Noel Whelan (ankle) and John Aloisi (knee) are still injured. Defender
Gary Breen has been suffering from a virus.
The Belgian winger Laurent Delorge and Norwegian midfielder Runar Normann are also on
the casualty list.
Strachan is expected to field the following line up at Everton tomorrow: Hedman,
Edworthy, Shaw, Konjic, M Hall, Telfer, McAllister, Palmer, Chippo, Keane, Hadji.