Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen prioritises Swansea game over Sheffield United clash
Rene Meulensteen says Fulham's Premier League game with Swansea is bigger than the FA Cup tie at Sheffield United.
Last Updated: 26/01/14 1:06pm
The west London side face two away games in the space of 51 hours as they travel to the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday to face a Swansea side two points and two places ahead of them in the Premier League.
Meulensteen admits he will rotate his squad but made clear his displeasure at having to play the two fixtures in such close proximity to one another.
"The Swansea game is more important because it is so tight in the Premier League," the Fulham manager said.
"There is not one country in the world that would let someone play in a fourth round of the cup on a Sunday and then play an important league game on Tuesday.
"Everyone with a bit of common sense understands that.
"I have to utilise the squad to the best of my ability, to make sure it doesn't affect either competition."
On a positive note for Fulham they have a near-full squad to choose from. Meulensteen insists he will not use fixture scheduling as an excuse ahead of the game, insisting he welcomes Fulham's participation in the FA Cup.
"There are some examples with previous clubs who have gone down," the 49-year-old said.
"But that is a negative way of thinking, it's almost like coming up with an excuse.
"That is not the way you can look at it. You need to make sure that you respect both competitions.
"It can provide you with a boost and I am 100 per cent sure that the people of Birmingham and Wigan, who went to that beautiful day at Wembley and came out winners, they will always remember that.
"It's part of their history. That is a massive thing for those people.
"They have paid a heavy price dropping out of the Premier League, but they will always be remembered as cup winners."