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Strachan On Shearer

Coventry’s manager Gordon Strachan will warn his players not to concentrate all their efforts on Alan Shearer when Bobby Robson brings his ‘Toon Army’ to Highfield Road on Saturday.

"Alan is a very influential player, but Newcastle have Gary Speed, Kevin Gallacher, Kieron Dyer, Robert Lee and Solano and several other very good players," says Strachan.

"Shearer is in a fine scoring run at the moment and I don’t think for one moment that missing a penalty at Birmingham City in midweek will bother him. He has come in for criticism in recent months from people who should know better, but he is hardened to anything.

"He will have forgotten that penalty when he sat down to his breakfast the following morning. He has great mental strength and he will be just as dangerous as he normally is.

"We have to try to keep the ball in Newcastle’s half of the pitch for as long as possible to keep it away from him.

"Strikers usually score goals in clutches. I hope Alan’s drought starts against us and he can start scoring again after Scotland play England.

"But he had my respect when I played against him and he still has it now I am a manager."

Strachan could be forced into one change for the match against Newcastle. Bosnian centreback Mo Konjic has been nursing a knee injury since playing at Everton and Paul Williams is on standby. Republic of Ireland centreback Gary Breen is ruled out with a knee injury.

Belgian under-21 international Cedric Roussel will have to wait to make his debut. The 21 year old striker was signed on loan to the end of the season from Ghent but Strachan says:

"It would unfair to start with Cedric but he will be in the squad for the game."

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 15 Oct 99

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