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Aloisi Ready To Rejoin Sky Blue Strike Force

Coventry City striker John Aloisi should be ready to partner Robbie Keane in the Sky Blues next fixture.

Aloisi has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since pulling up against Leeds United three weeks ago, but after a spell of rest the Australian international is now back in full training.

The 23-year-old’s injury could not have come at a worse time for the club who had already lost talented hit-man Noel Whelan with serious ankle damage just 10 days earlier.

The striker shortage forced boss Gordon Strachan to shuffle his pack several times, playing Moustapha Hadji, John Eustace, Gary McSheffrey and Paul Hall up front on different occasions.

Aloisi admitted it was difficult watching the team struggle for a striker, but is now hoping that he can get back to goalscoring.

He said:

"It has been very frustrating for me because I had got into the starting eleven and hit a couple of goals and then been sidelined through injury.

"I have had to miss out on three cup games and two league games and it has been hard watching the team.

"It hasn’t been easy for the manager having two front players out with both me and Noel, but Hadji has done well to play up front because I know it is not his favourite position.

"My fitness has progressed well and I am hoping to be available for selection for the home match against Newcastle United a week on Saturday.

"I have been training with the lads and feeling good so I am pretty sure I will be ready."

The former Portsmouth man was also quick to defend his team-mates in his absence, believing that luck has been against them so far this campaign.

"I think we have been playing well most of the time this season, but a lot of times when we play well we don’t always get the results.

"The last few games have been good and I think Carlton Palmer’s fighting abilities have also helped us, and both he and Gary McAllister are doing very well in midfield."

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Coventry fielded a youthful reserve team against Charlton Athletic at Highfield Road last night but played superbly to be leading 3-0 going into the last five minutes.

Former City man John Salako then laid on two goals for Charlton and the match ended 3-2.

City fielded seven teenagers and had five more on the substitutes’ bench, with veteran campaigners Steve Ogrizovic and Ian Brightwell orchestrating proceedings. The opening goal after 44 minutes was scored by 16 year old Mark Magennis from a deflection and then John Eustace and Chukkie Eribenne added two more in the second half.

Four minutes from time Kevin Lisbie scored for Charlton and Martin Pringle added a second in stoppage time.

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 6 Oct 99

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