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Thin Sky Blue Line For Tranmere Clash

Coventry City boss Gordon Strachan has outlined his side’s growing injury crisis ahead of tonight’s Worthington Cup clash with Tranmere Rovers.

City have been left reeling by what the former Scotland star has described as "the lowest availability of players" since he became manager.

Strachan will be without ten first team squad members when his side travel to Prenton Park for the first-leg tie, and the only recognised striker in the squad is 17-year-old Gary McSheffrey.

Despite the fact that McSheffrey has never started a match for the Sky Blues he seems certain to lead the line, with City desperately looking for someone to partner him.

Noel Whelan has missed the last two games with an ankle injury and will not be fit to play, John Aloisi picked up a knee injury in Saturday’s clash with Leeds and Robbie Keane is cup-tied.

Strachan admitted that he was now down to the bare bones in terms of experienced players.

He said:

"I think I have 11 fit first team members and that includes John Eustace, Barry Quinn, Gavin Strachan and Barry Ferguson who are by no stretch of the imagination regulars.

"So really we have got six first team players and most of them are defenders so we need to look at the situation and decided what to do.

"Up front it will be Gary McSheffrey and A N Other. People have been talking about Stephen McPhee, but it will be very difficult to partner them, they have only played about three reserve team games together.

"However, we are looking forward to the game and see it as yet another test, both for the players and for me as a manager."

The Sky Blues full list of absentees reads: Youssef Chippo (suspended), Moustapha Hadji (ankle), John Aloisi (knee), Paul Telfer (knee), Noel Whelan (ankle), Robbie Keane (cup tied), Laurent Delorge (knee), Runar Normann (hamstring), Magnus Hedman (hamstring) and Gary Breen (thigh).

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 14 Sep 99

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