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[19 APR 99] COVENTRY CITY FC MATCH NEWS
Hedman's Battle To Get Fit

Magnus Hedman is in a race against time to get fit to play his part in Coventry City’s relegation battle at Leicester City on Saturday.

The goalkeeper damaged his side in a fearful collision with Middlesbrough’s giant centreback Gary Pallister and then struggled through the remaining 85 minutes of the match.

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 dramatic debut.

He said:

"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 Wednesday.

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 moment.

Coventry’s captain Gary McAllister will miss the match through suspension automatically imposed for collecting five bookings this season.
    

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 19 Apr 99

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