Another weekend passes in the football calendar and Coventry come out of it pretty well. A hard fought point away to Preston as well as having an unwanted FA Cup record taken away from them.
The draw at Preston was never going to be a classic with their often ‘ugly’ style of football combined with the shockingly poor pitch conditions. It was a game however which produced 4 goals evenly shared between the two teams although Preston technically got three of them with an own goal from Robertson.
It was a game which on the face of it Coventry would find difficult however we adapted surprisingly well and based on the stats could have easily won the match on another day. City finished the game with 14 attempts on target compared to Preston’s 3 and that stat tells its own story.
Coventry are clearly the better footballing side of the two and in that respect a point seems slightly disappointing but given the conditions we have to be happy with it and look forward to what is a huge game on Friday night away to Sheffield United. They are a team who are in and around the promotion chasing pack and a victory against them would be a huge step towards reaching our playoff goal.
It will very likely be a similar game to the Preston match in terms of the football on show. They have similar philosophies and ones that I really am not a fan of. Sheffield united have been one of the kings of this type of football for a long time and it has brought them both success and failure, more recently failure. They are undoubtedly a big club and along with us and Portsmouth are probably the only other club in league one who on name alone feels as if they shouldn’t be there.
They are though and so are we and this is a vital game in our season. We have shown we can compete with Sheffield united having knocked them out of the Johnstone’s paint trophy and with their lack of form recently I do fancy our chances.
My main concern is that of the match which follows and whether the player’s minds will be on that one. It is of course the home leg of the area final of the Johnstone’s paint trophy against Crewe. News broke this week that the match is a sell out and this is almost unheard of for a Coventry match and this will only add to the anticipation of the game for the players. I hope Robins can focus the players on the task in hand on Friday night and get a positive result to keep our hopes alive for not one but a potential two trips to Wembley.
The other positive of the weekend was that of Luton Town’s victory over premier league Norwich. For 14 years now Coventry City have been the unwanted holder of the record of being the last top flight team to be knocked out of the cup by a non-league side. This unwanted record is now passed onto Norwich after what can only be described as an incredible victory for Luton.
It was a bit of FA cup magic though and it wasn’t the only bit with seven premier league teams now having been knocked out by lower league sides. Most notable for us Coventry fans was Aston Villa’s loss to Millwall which came only days after their capital one cup exit at the hands of league two Bradford. Villa are a club in turmoil and there is a distinct possibility of seeing them relegated to the championship.
If relegation to the Championship were to happen then this is even more motivation to get promoted as that would create the chance for a local derby that has not happened since Villa beat City on the 5th May 2001 to condemn Coventry to relegation from the premier league. Relegation was inevitable but for Villa to be the team to confirm it made it hurt just that little bit more. A rematch has been a long time coming and I for one am hoping that it can take place next season in the championship.
That is next season though and what’s happening right now is the January transfer window is coming to an end. Coventry have already been busy doing business with the most recent being Cody McDonald leaving on loan to join the club in which he had the best spell of his career so far. He clearly hasn’t been showing what he can do in training and Robins has taken the chance to hopefully get him back to scoring goals and then there is every chance he could return full of confidence and be like a new signing for us.
Another player on his way out is Roy O’Donovan well that is if we can convince anyone to take him. He has never looked like he could cut it for us and if he does go that will leave us with only two fit recognised strikers in Clarke and Elliot. There are rumours going around that Robins does want some new blood in the squad and that a new striker is his top priority. This will only happen with outgoings freeing up wages though and it is looking pretty bleak on that front at the moment.
Names like Scotland and Earnshaw have been bandied about but neither of these were ever realistic in my opinion. I am actually drawing a blank when it comes to other potential names but one player who is currently on trial with the club is ex Chelsea and Sheffield united player Danny Philliskirk. At the age of 21 he is still young and I hope Robins takes a good long look at him before making his decision. There is clear potential there but what we don’t need is another player on the books who is not going to be involved in the squad.
It could and should be an interesting last few days of the transfer market for us Coventry fans and let’s hope someone who can help our push for promotion can be drafted in.