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Konjic Fully Recovered

The last days of the pre-season are boiling up into a selection headache for Coventry City’s manager Gordon Strachan.

Mo Konjic, the giant Bosnian centreback has now forced himself into the manager’s thoughts by coming through a stiff work out on his thigh muscle injury.

Konjic, who cost 2 million from Monaco last season played the entire 90 minutes of a midweek match against Hereford United and will now be pushing for a place in the side against Southampton at Highfield Road on Saturday.

Strachan already has critical decisions to take on team selection in midfield and up front and now Konjic appears to have added to his difficulties.

The manager is certain to play his star signings Youssef Chippo and Moustapha Hadji which leaves other departments over subscribed.

Strachan was keeping people guessing in last weekend’s final pre-season friendly against West Bromwich Albion when he left out Noel Whelan and played Hadji as a striker alongside Darren Huckerby.

There is no chance that Whelan will sit out the start of the season because Strachan rates him as international material.

Something will have to give up front however as the manager perms any two from Whelan, Darren Huckerby and John Aloisi.

He faces bigger problems in midfield where Hadji, Chippo, Gary McAllister, Paul Telfer, Stephen Froggatt, Marcus Hall, Gavin Strachan, Trond Soltvedt and Barry Quinn will be scrapping over four places.

The centreback role appeared to have been settled with the new slimline Paul Williams alongside Richard Shaw in most pre-season games. But Konjic’s recovery could force a rethink.

Coventry say they are not getting carried away by the popular belief that the first match of the season against Southampton is a certain three points. They have beaten Chelsea on the opening Saturday of the last two seasons, but Southampton could be a tougher proposition.

David Jones’ team will feel they can get something out of Saturday’s visit to Highfield Road.

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 4 Aug 99

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