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Huckerby Waits For Strachan Decision

Coventry manager Gordon Strachan has to decide whether to axe star striker Darren Huckerby for the vital home game against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Huckerby, valued at 7 million after a string of electric performances earlier this season, has now gone 13 games without a goal and has struggled to find his best form as the side have pulled themselves out of the bottom three.

Strachan kept faith with him against Everton but described the team’s first half performance in the 2-0 Sunday defeat as a "waste of time" and could be tempted to bring John Aloisi in from the start.

The Highfield Road boss is confident his players have heeded the lessons of their trip to Goodison.

He said:

"They have been excellent in training and have responded well. They may have been too positive, if anything, and have been trying a bit too hard so we will have to relax them before the game and just have them focussed.

"They would have liked to have played a game on Monday after the performance at Everton but I am sure they will put on a good show.

"We have proved we can win five games on the trot but it will be a very hard game on Saturday because they are a strong, physical side with plenty of ability and that is a great combination.

"They did very well in beating Charlton at the weekend and again in midweek against Chelsea, who never managed to make any chances. If you want to pass the ball around in front of them they will accept that all day, you have to do more than that."

Strachan is hoping midfielder Paul Telfer, who limped off with a dead leg at Goodison Park, has shaken off the injury in time to play but has already ruled out winger Steve Froggatt who is suffering from a hamstring strain which has seen him miss the last two games.

Italian trialist Stefano Gioacchini, on loan from Venezia until the end of the season, will be added to the squad after rattling in two goals for the reserves in midweek, the latest good performance from the former under-21 international.

Strachan added:

"Hopefully Paul will come through. He is a quick healer. Whether it is his body which heals quickly or his mind telling is body to heal I am not too sure but he gets back quicker than most."

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 16 Apr 99

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