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Strachan Looks For Mental Strength

Gordon 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 warfare.

Gary McAllister, Coventry City FCThe Premier 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. He’ll 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."

Strachan says:

"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.

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 20 Sep 99

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