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[23 APR 99] COVENTRY CITY FC NEWS
Leicester v Coventry City - Preview

Coventry City boss Gordon Strachan faces the prospect of going into this weekend’s crucial relegation battle at Leicester without nine of his first team players.

Strachan will be definitely be without Roland Nilsson(ribs), Steve Ogrizovic(neck), Steve Froggatt(hamstring), and suspended duo Noel Whelan and Gary McAllister.

Major doubts also hang over the availability of Paul Telfer who picked up a dead leg at Everton, Magnus Hedman who damaged stomach muscles in last week’s defeat by Middlesborough, and Trond Solvedt and Marc Edworthy who were both hurt in training.

The Sky Blues boss admits that the injury crisis has come at the worst possible stage of the season. He said:

"It’s not a good time to happen. I think the maximum we will get fit from that injury list is two of them, and that’s at a push."

The Scot is clearly incensed that his problems have been heightened by Wednesday’s F.A decision to suspend Striker Noel Whelan from Saturday’s game for picking up 11 bookings this season.

He said:

"Noel is very upset, especially when he knew a lot of people on eleven bookings were only fined, so he’s very disappointed.

"He was in a very unusual situation in that he had to be a hearing with the three same guys half an hour before, talking about an incident at Chelsea, then go back in again to deal with the bookings."

The inconsistency of the hearings seemed to be highlighted when Everton’s Oliver Dacourt escaped a ban, despite the fact he has now reached 14 bookings.

"What we should have done was try and get Noel 14 bookings quite quickly and zoom past the 11 mark and he would have been fine," joked Strachan.

However, the manager has now set his sights on survival and believes the current crisis will give some of his younger players the opportunity to shine.

He said:

"Previously when young lads came into our side they had McAllister, Nilsson, Ogrizovic and Dion Dublin, so there was always somebody there that could speak to them in the heat of the battle.

"It may be that the kids or new members of our team will have to take more responsibility. Paul Williams for instance, who is always helpful on the pitch, will have to really take responsibility, and really show that he’s a father figure and a top pro in this league."
    

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 23 Apr 99

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