Magnus Hedman is
in a race against time to get fit to play his part in Coventry Citys relegation
battle at Leicester City on Saturday.
The goalkeeper damaged his side in a fearful collision with Middlesbroughs giant
centreback Gary Pallister and then struggled through the remaining 85 minutes of the
Controversially manager Gordon Strachan did not send on the substitute goalkeeper and
some critics were of the opinion that Hedman could not keep out the first goal because he
was hampered by the injury.
But Strachan said the Swede had told him he was fit to continue. The manager denied
being unsure about sending on the substitute goalkeeper 17 years old Chris Kirkland for a
"If I did not think Chris was up to the job I would have signed another goalkeeper
before the transfer deadline."
Strachan confirmed today that as a precaution he had pulled Kirkland out of the youth
team to play Newcastle United in the FA Youth Cup semi-final at St James Park on
If Hedman cannot play then the young Leicestershire lad will make his first team debut
at Filbert Street in one of the most emotionally-charged matches of the season.
Hedman was having a hospital scan on his midriff today to determine how seriously he is
hurt. In any event Strachan will leave any decision on his fitness to the last possible
Coventrys captain Gary McAllister will miss the match through suspension
automatically imposed for collecting five bookings this season.