Feels a long time since that godawful game against Birmingham doesn’t it? Since then we’ve seen Nigel Doughty leave following the departure of his last managerial appointment, we’ve seen a LOT of rumours – we’ve seen Frank Clark arrive as chairman, and we’ve seen him announce that he’s going to take some time to put a shortlist together. Rather rubbishing the claims in certain quarters that shortlists were already made!
Which means that Rob Kelly takes the helm as caretaker manager for the trip to Ricoh Arena (unless we really do make a swift move!) where Andy Thorn’s Sky Blues will pose our latest challenge. They are one of the three teams with a worse start than us, sitting third from bottom just a point below us with just one win to their name all season – against Derby! Their website is describing this as a ‘derby clash’ – odd! It’s bad enough Leicester claiming rivalry!
The Coventry players will be donning black armbands to honour the memory of their recently deceased physio Graham Jones. May he rest in peace.
On the squad front we’ve got potentially good news, Lee Camp is apparently likely to be fit and ready to play after injury worries made him miss Northern Ireland’s game against Italy with a groin injury. There are no further injury worries following the break – leaving us missing the usual suspects of Paul Anderson, George Boateng, Garath McCleary, Dexter Blackstock and Chris Cohen.
Our hosts have a number of worries on the injury front – ex-Red Sammy ‘sideways’ Clingan has been suffering with a back injury after his game for Northern Ireland, whilst McSheffrey, O’Donovan, Murphy and Cranie are all ‘touch and go’ to quote Andy Thorn. Richard Wood could return to central defence after an injury.
It was only back in February we last played at the Ricoh, winning 2-1 and coming from behind with McGugan and Earnshaw scoring after ‘She said no’ Marlon had netted a first half goal for the home side. It was the game in which the Moose picked up a nasty injury in setting up the winning goal. We beat them earlier last season at The City Ground too – again by 2-1, and again coming from behind.
Difficult to predict what’s going to happen here – two teams in dire need of kickstarting their campaign. With the arrival of Frank Clark having lifted the fans, hopefully he’s had a similar impact on our underperforming players too – and perhaps without the weight of expectation or demand the coaching team will be able to have a positive influence too.
Without wishing to be disrespectful, a trip to Coventry at this stage given their form and injury problems couldn’t come at a better time on paper. Of course, we all know damn well that games aren’t played on paper – so let’s hope the boys in Red aren’t as complacent as I just sounded! Hopefully the renewed mood with the new chairman on board will see plenty of Reds travel and get behind the boys…
It would be lovely for the new manager to come in on the back of a win to relieve some pressure on results.
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