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Keane Back To Face West Ham

Sharpshooter Robbie Keane is restored to Coventry’s team for the premiership match against West Ham United at Highfield Road.

The Irishman has scored eight goals in nine games for club and country and Coventry will be hoping he can maintain his rich vein of form.

Keane scored two goals in two matches for Wolverhampton Wanderers, two in two for the Republic of Ireland and has four in five games for Coventry.

But he does not know who will be his partner up front against the Hammers.

Manager Gordon Strachan has ruled out Noel Whelan and John Aloisi, who are injured, and it looks as though Moroccan midfielder Moustapha Hadji will get the job.

Carlton Palmer makes his premiership debut on loan from Nottingham Forest and Swedish goalkeeper Magnus Hedman is expected to be fit to take over from teenager Chris Kirkland.

Strachan says:

"We should have at least two internationals back which will help. Young Gary McSheffrey looked like a first team player for twenty minutes against Tranmere, but we can give him a rest now and he will go back to the juniors.

"Aloisi and Whelan have tried hard to get back, but they are in too much pain.

"I asked the players to put a spring back into our step against Tranmere and they have done that. Of course we wanted to go through to the next round of the cup and I really thought we had a chance to do it.

"We are still forgetting one or two things that I have asked them to do and our shape goes out of the window for five minutes or so, which is a long time in a football match.

"We have been leaking goals and this is down to individual errors, horrific individual errors which I have not seen before at this club.

"I was one of those people who did not fancy the Intertoto Cup, but West Ham played in it and they have an edge about them as a result.

"I think they have played the same front seven since July and their strength is in that seven. They are scoring goals and the five across the middle are working very hard.

"The two guys up front can do anything. They are wonderfully gifted footballers and we have to try to keep the ball away from them.

"But most tactical systems have strengths and weaknesses. You can’t be solid all over the pitch and we know the weakness of the system West Ham employ."

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 24 Sep 99

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