Meulensteen gives Fulham youth a chance over Ruiz

The Cottagers held Norwich to a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road in their third round clash with the Netherlands manager opting to overlook the club's Costa Rica international

Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen said Bryan Ruiz was left out of his side at Norwich to give the club's youngsters a chance.

Ruiz did not make the bench in Fulham's 1-1 FA Cup draw at Carrow Road on Saturday – the second time in a row he was not involved in the club's matchday squad.

The Costa Rica attacker has featured just twice in Meulensteen's eight matches in charge, with his sole start coming in the club's 6-0 thumping at Hull City on December 28.

Speculation has surrounded the future of Ruiz as a result, with La Liga outfit Real Betis rumoured to be interested in acquiring his services.

On why he was left out at Norwich, Meulensteen told Get West London: "We looked at it and if you bring young players in, you've got to weigh things up.

"In this case we thought it was better to give other young players an opportunity on the bench."

Ruiz has made 75 appearances for Fulham since arriving for a reported fee of £10.6million from Twente in August 2011.