It is with regret that the club can confirm that due to extreme weather conditions in the North West of England, the Carling Cup semi-final first leg tie against Manchester United scheduled has been postponed.
After discussions with the relevant parties including Greater Manchester Police, the Safety Advisory Committee, the Football League and Manchester United, the decision was unanimously reached that the game should be re-scheduled due to safety concerns ,particularly with regard to travel for supporters.
The home tie will now take place on Tuesday, January 19th and the return leg on Wednesday, January 27th.
Frustrating as it is, there was no other alternative decision (and saves me fretting about getting to and from the game) that could have been taken and much of the talk now has been as to whether this benefits us by pushing the tie back a couple of weeks.
Given the injuries we are currently suffering from the additional two weeks should give the likes of Bridge, Onouha, Ireland, Santa Cruz and Ireland more time to recover and get back into action. It will also give Mancini another couple of weeks on the training ground and a pair of games (Blackburn and Everton) to work with the side. There is the added possibility of Emmanuel Adebayor also being available should Togo suffer an early exit from the African Cup of Nations.
As for United, I suppose this takes the 'wounded animal' reaction out of the equation, given that they no longer have the opportunity to get the Leeds defeat out of their system, although on Sunday they looked anything but a side capable of mounting a response. They too have injuries, but yet theirs are more long term and shouldn't have too much affect on team selection.
The only downside is the possibility that the momentum we have built under Mancini may be lost if results in the next couple of weeks don't go according to plan, but as frustrating as it is that the game is postponed it may ultimately be beneficial when looking at the big picture.