Strachan says he will now select not necessarily his best players but those with the
mental strength to handle a season, which for Coventry has deteriorated into trench
League strugglers have leaked an alarming twelve goals in three matches, including five
against First Division Tranmere Rovers, and Strachan is calling on his troops to stand
shoulder to shoulder in the trenches with skipper Gary McAllister, whose contribution he
describes as immense.
The manager, who never ducked a scrap in his life, says:
"Gary has run himself into the ground and given everything for this club. He plays
with his heart on his sleeve. Hell tackle anybody, run with anybody, argue with
anybody and play against anybody and hopefully Carlton Palmer will give us the same sort
of thing, the same sort of temperament."
"I will now be picking the most disciplined players. It might not be the team
anyone else would pick but I know my players best and I will pick the strongest minded
side and those with the most determination."
Coventry signed Palmer from Nottingham Forest on Friday and he makes his debut against
Tranmere Rovers in the second leg of the Worthington Cup on Wednesday.
Strachan will again have a striker problem in the cup-tie. Robbie Keane, scorer of a
brilliant goal in the 3-2 defeat at Tottenham yesterday, is cup tied and misses the game,
while John Aloisi is still injured.
His big hope is that Noel Whelan, who injured his ankle ligaments against Manchester
United four weeks ago, is fit again to take his place in the attack where Moustapha Hadji
could join him.
Tranmere will find themselves playing against several players who missed out on the
first leg for various reasons.
Goalkeeper Magnus Hedman, Hadji and Whelan were injured for that match, Youssef Chippo
was suspended and Carlton Palmer was still a Nottingham Forest player. Coventry need to
win 4-0 to go through on the away goal ruling after losing 5-1 at Tranmere.