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PRESS PREVIEW: COVENTRY CITY

15 February 2018

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Andy Turner from the Coventry Telegraph gives us the lowdown on Coventry City.

Ahead of the Emirates FA Cup fifth round tie between the two clubs on Saturday, Andy Turner from the Coventry Telegraph gives us the lowdown on Coventry City's progress so far this season.

After a very turbulent recent history, are there signs of recovery?

Yes, I think so. They’ve got a good manager in place with Mark Robins and just before losing the last three games on the spin, everyone was hoping that the promotion charge was on course. At the start of the season everyone was hoping for automatic promotion, but the play-offs are still in reach.

They are going through a testing period due to a number of injuries, but the fans remain hopeful and the manager and players remain very confident that they can reach the top seven.

A push for an immediate return to League One seemed on track, but the form has taken a slump. What can that be put down to?

They’ve not travelled well away from home all season, and that’s an issue at the moment, but certainly in the last two games, they’ve been missing some key players.

The captain Michael Doyle is out with a medial knee ligament injury and he’s a huge miss. Jack Grimmer, who scored against Stoke in the third round, has been virtually ever-present and won’t play on Saturday.

That’s disrupted things at the back, because it’s meant that Jordan Willis has had to shuffle across to cover him at right back.

How would you assess the job that Mark Robins has done since returning to the club?

Very good. One of the first things he did when he came back in was leading them to success in the Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley, which was long overdue having gone 30 years without anything to celebrate since winning the FA Cup in 1987. It was a great occasion for the fans too, with 43,000 fans making the trip down there.

Had he come in a few months earlier, I think Coventry might’ve stayed up in League One. It was a difficult task, and they got relegated through no fault of his own. On the whole, he’s done well with the squad he’s got, he’s brought in some good players, and they’re just lacking a second striker to wade in and help out with goals.

What player is most likely to cause Brighton problems?

Their best player is leading goalscorer Marc McNulty, who’s scored 16 goals this season. He’s a very good striker at League Two level.

He took a bit of a while to get going, but he’s done really well in the middle part of the season and started scoring goals. His movement is excellent and is a decent finisher that works his socks off the team. He’s their best chance of a goal.

How do you see the game going?

If I am being perfectly honest, I think Coventry are going to struggle, particularly without Doyle and Grimmer. They’re going to have to play at their absolute maximum if they hope to get anything out of the game and will have to catch Brighton on a bad day as well. I think it will be a game too far for the Sky Blues in the FA Cup.


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