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[05 MAR 99] COVENTRY CITY FC MATCH REPORT
Coventry City v Charlton - Preview

Aussie striker John Aloisi will get a chance to repeat his derby-day heroics when Coventry take on Charlton in a crucial relegation battle at Highfield Road tomorrow.

The 650,000 signing from Portsmouth will spearhead the Coventry front line alongside Darren Huckerby after netting twice in the 4-1 away win over Midlands’ rivals Aston Villa.

Aloisi has had to wait a couple of months for a real chance of a run in the first team but Coventry boss Gordon Strachan is now ready to let him prove himself.

But selection has been made easy for Strachan. Dutch midfielder George Boateng, the other Coventry scorer at Villa, is suspended allowing Noel Whelan – the man Aloisi replaced – to come back from injury.

Strachan said:

"John has been excellent in training since he joined us but has had to wait. He knew the score when he came here – Noel Whelan and Darren Huckerby were the first choice strikers. They had done well and people were calling for them to play for England.

"If I had suddenly dropped one for a player who cost 650,000 and it didn’t come off, people would have been screaming for my head. He had to wait. Chances can come in different ways and his arrived through Noel’s injury. It looked for a while as if Noel would play against Villa but then the pain got too much, so John was in.

"Noel is better now and we will have to look at the shape of the team – Noel is a terrific all round player and has the physique and intelligence to play in a number of position so I might do something different."

That, however, seems unlikely and Whelan is favourite to start wide on the right of midfield.

Coventry managed a draw at The Valley earlier in the season but Strachan knows that however his side perform against Charlton this weekend, and Blackburn in seven days time, they are in for a traditional Sky Blues fight to the death.

He added:

"I always say that after the first 10 games you can see how the season will go and I have been proved right. When you are down near the bottom it is very hard to really pull yourself clear.

"To do that you need an exceptional run like we had after Christmas last year but time is running out for that and it is the teams who are the bravest – and luckiest – who will stay up."
    

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 5 Mar 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM