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McAllister And City In Top Form

Gary McAllister, Coventry City FCCoventry City’s veteran skipper Gary McAllister has revealed that the Sky Blues are playing as well as they ever have since he has been at Highfield Road.

The former Scotland captain joined City from Leeds United in a 3 million deal in 1996, but struggled to recapture the form that helped the Elland Road side to the championship.

However, the 35-year-old is now back at the top of his game and believes the current form of his teammates has helped that.

He said:

"I am playing in a team that are as good as any that I have been in since I have been at Highfield Road and that most definitely helps.

"I think the new additions that the manager has brought in have helped me and helped everybody and I can assure you that it is easier to play in a team that is playing good football rather than one that is scratching around at the bottom of the table."

And the former Motherwell and Leicester man believes that his decision to retire from international football has helped him to lift his standard of play in the Premiership.

He said:

"I think that has definitely played a part. Not just the travelling, but I had seven of eight years of being captain of the side and when you are the captain you take added responsibility and take things more personally.

"I have now been relieved of that pressure, and there is pressure so it is nice now that when there is a Scotland game I can just relax and recuperate."

And McAllister singled out wonder kid Robbie Keane for special praise after further vintage performances from the 19-year-old.

He said:

"It is people like Robbie that will prolong my career. You only have to watch him play to see that he is a breath of fresh air and it has been good to play alongside him."

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 14 Nov 99

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