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Coventry Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 25/12/2001

THE MARINERS will be hoping for some Christmas cheer at Blundell Park on Wednesday, after their creditable draw at Preston on Saturday. But this won't be easy, against a very well organised Coventry City side...

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Coventry (h)

The Story So Far


Since the dismissal of Gordon Strachan, and the appointment of Roland Nilsson, Coventry have started to emerge as real promotion contenders. After a poor start, which saw boss Gordon Strachan sacked, ironically after Towns 1-0 win against them in September, Coventry have picked up their form and started winning games. The basis of this run of form since the end of September has been the solidity of the defence, leaking just 24 goals, making them one of the meanest defences in the division. Meanwhile, up front, Lee Hughes and Lee Mills have in inspirational form, helping the Sky Blues move up the league ladder with their goals, this all without Julian Joachim who has been injured for most of the campaign. This form continued on Sunday evening, when the Highfield Road side thrashed Bradford 4-0 to move them up to a play off place in the first division table.

At the other end of the table, Town have had a poor season. Memories like topping the table in September and beating Liverpool at Anfield are now at the back of every fans memory, as the club face an uphill battle to avoid relegation. After this excellent start which saw the Mariners win four of their six opening games, Towns season entered freefall, all stemming from the 5-0 defeat against Crystal Palace on September 18th. Since then, the Mariners have won just one league game out of 19, mustering only nine points in the process, leaking 40 goals and scoring just 12. These statistics tell their own story, and no Town fan needs telling how serious the current situation is. Hopefully Town can get three points and give themselves, and their supporters, some much needed confidence going into the new year.

Recent Form

DWalsall(a) 0-0
DWolves(h) 1-1
LMan City(h)0-2

Overall League Record


Leading Goalscorers (League + Cup)


Town Team News

  • As normal, Town have a horrendous injury list. Alan Pouton, Steve Livingstone, John McDermott, Stuart Campbell and Jonathan Rowan are all certain to miss out with long term injuries.
  • While Paul Raven and Bradley Allen could make it, but they are not going to be risked.
  • After taking a knock on the nose on Saturday, Chris Thompson is not expected to start, Michael Boulding will deputise.
  • In another change, Stacy Coldicott could be restored to the midfield at the expense of Wayne Burnett.
  • Otherwise, it could be the same team, with a 3-5-2 system expected to be used again, unless there are any last minute recoveries.

  • Coventry Team News

  • After their impressive 4-0 win against Bradford, Coventry are expected to keep the same team, despite returns on the bench from Barry Quinn, Julian Joachim and Lee Carsley.
  • Elsewhere, Roland Neilsen has an almost fully fit squad to choose from.

  • Expected Line Ups


    Danny Coyne
    Signed on a free in 1999 from Tranmere. Excellent shot stopper who has been watched by many Premiership scouts in the last year.
    Alan Neilson
    Full back signed in October from Fulham on a free transfer. Can also play in midfield.
    Tony Gallimore
    One of Town's longest serving players behind Paul Groves, John McDermott and Steve Livingstone.
    Simon Ford
    Athletic defender who made his professional debut against Preston on Saturday in a three man defence.
    Paul Groves (c)
    Town skipper whose presence is vital in a team already short of defenders. In his 2nd spell at the club.
    Menno Willems
    Dutch midfielder signed from Vitnesse Arnhem just less than a year ago for £160,000.
    Ben Chapman
    Versatile player who started off as left back, but has already played right back, centre back, left midfield, and now, in a 3-5-2 system, left wing back.
    Danny Butterfield
    Accomplished midfield player who signed a one year contract in the summer. Made his debut under Alan Buckley in 1997.
    Stacy Coldicott
    Tough tackling midfield player who can also play at right back. Signed for £160,000 from WBA in 1998.
    Phil Jevons
    Summer signing from Everton for £200,000. Jevons has netted six goals so far this season including the goal that sunk Coventry at Highfield road in September.
    Michael Boulding
    Extremely pacey forward who can also play down the left wing. Signed in September from Mansfield on a free transfer.
    Magnus Hedman
    Swedish international keeper who has found himself the clubs No1 again after the sale of Chris Kirkland to Liverpool.
    Marc Edworthy
    Signed for £850,000 from Crystal Palace. Can operate at either right or left back.
    Mo Konjic
    National captain of Bosnia who has featured heavily in Coventry's defensive sternness at the back this season.
    Richard Shaw
    Defender, equally at home at right back or more centrally, who joined the Highfield Road side four seasons ago.
    Marcus Hall
    Been a regular player this season, at left back, and will be looking to keep it that way after many injuries over the years have limited the youngsters
    Youssef Chippo
    Morrocan player who impressed so much in his Countrys performances in France 98. Now an established first team player.
    David Thompson
    Skilful little player who normally plays down the left wing. Signed from Liverpool in 2000.
    Youssef Safri
    Defensive midfield player recommended to Gordan Strachan by ex player Moustapha Hadji, and signed on a free in the summer.
    George Delorge
    Dutch player able to operate either in midfield or in attack. Has been given a rare chance to shine this year.
    Lee Hughes
    Record signing of £5 million from rivals WBA. Expected to provide the goals to help Coventry get promotion. Always a threat for any defence.
    Lee Mills
    Playing his last game of a loan spell from Portsmouth, Mills will be hoping he will do enough to convince the Coventry board to pay out £400,000 for his services.

    Mike Jeffrey
    Wayne Burnett
    David Smith
    Chris Thompson
    Steve Crousdon (GK)
    Nicky Weaver
    Julian Joachim
    Barry Quinn
    Lee Carsley
    Andy Goram (GK)

    Last Time Out

    The last time the two sides met of course was in Septemeber when Town ended Goradan Strachan's tenure as manager with a 1-0 win at Highfield Road. The goal that day came from Phil Jevons, who after a mix up between goalkeeper and defence, hit in a shot into the empty net. Coventry surged forward but could not break down a resilient Town defence.

    Town Team: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Groves, Beharall, Pouton, Campbell, Willems, Butterfield, Jevons, Rowan.
    Subs: Jeffrey, Burnett, Allen, Chapman, Ermes.


    Coventry Head-to-Head (63rd on The Opposition Ladder).

    Fishy Prediction

    The Mariners simply cannot afford to loose, and a win would be great, as most Town fans have forgotten what it is like to actually get three points. I have great faith Town will win so I'll go for a 2-1 victory.

    Prediction: 2-1 Town. Reader's POMs


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