Coventry City boss
Gordon Strachan may have to do without the Carlton Palmer steel when his side run out at
Tottenham on Sunday.
Strachan pounced to sign the vastly experienced 33-year-old former England midfielder
on a three-month loan from Nottingham Forest but Palmer may have to watch the game
from the White Hart Lane stands.
Coventry are hoping his registration went through in time for time to strengthen a side
which has conceded nine goals in the last two games.
But Strachan is convinced that just having Palmer, who has been in dispute with Forest,
in the camp will be a help.
"We are doing a lot of things right at the moment and we are playing some very
pleasing football but often it is just the luckiest side that is winning our games because
they are so open.
"We perhaps need someone who can stop teams playing. Carlton is joining us for
three months with a view to a permanent move."
Strachan has three young midfielders Barry Quinn, son Gavin and John Eustace in
the first team squad but clearly feels experience is badly needed. Ironically they sold
former Rosenborg midfielder Trond Soltvedt to Southampton for £300,000 last month.
Strachan will be able to welcome back striker Robbie Keane, who was cup tied for the
5-1 midweek Worthington Cup defeat at Tranmere, and Youssef Chippo who missed the Prenton
Park trip through suspension.
Chippos Moroccan team mate Moustapha Hadji is also expected back after picking up
an ankle knock in the 4-3 home defeat against Leeds, but Noel Whelan, John Aloisi and Paul
Telfer are still sidelined with longer term injuries.
Coventry have only lost twice in nine visits to White Hart Lane and chairman Bryan
Richardson feels his side could bounce back with a win.
"We enjoy going there we have a good record over the years. We are going there
with the intent to win in.
"We have lost Noel, Paul and John and have had a few other players who have not
been 100 per cent and that has been a problem. We are all disappointed we are not higher
up the league but there is only five points between us and ninth place and that can be
made up in a couple of games.
"There is nothing wrong with the heart of the players or the spirit of the
camp. On Tuesday, two or three players had what can only be described as nightmares."