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Froggatt Sad To Miss Villa Clash

Coventry City's Midland derby with Aston Villa tonight will be the only low point in Steve Froggatt's fabulous fortnight.

The Coventry City winger has spent the last two weeks with the England squad after Kevin Keegan surprisingly picked him for the two Euro 2000 qualifying games against Scotland and returned home in time to witness the birth of his first daughter Leah.

But while he was away with the national squad he discovered a booking against Bradford in his last outing for Coventry pushed him over the disciplinary line forcing him to miss the televised clash with his first club.

Froggatt, who started his career at Villa Park, would have been one of three players on show with experience at both clubs. The game marks the first return of Dion Dublin and George Boateng who moved across the Midlands last season.

Their departures caused fury among the City faithful but Froggatt feels the extra rivalry will only make the match a more memorable occasion.

He said:

"I am very, very frustrated to be watching. To be honest I went away with England really looking forward to playing against Villa but some of the media guys at our training camp told me the booking ruled me out. I was very disappointed.

"If I could only play in one match this season it would be this one. Now I will have to sit it out.

"I think having George and Dion back will be excellent. I have played in a few local derbies and it is just those sort of rivalries that give these games the edge. The fact they are both returning for the first time should certainly get our supporters going. There is nothing like a full-blooded derby."

And Froggatt is confident Gordon Strachan's side, unbeaten in seven successive games, can extend their successful sequence.

"I think that we are maybe going into the game as favourites. We are on a good run and Villa have been finding it hard of late. That said, form is not really a pointer in a game like this.

"The main thing for us is to keep this run going and keep moving up the table. The fact that we are playing Villa and can move above them only adds to it all."

Froggatt could be joined on the sidelines by Richard Shaw. The central defender has been troubled by a niggling knee injury and will be replaced by Bosnian skipper Mo Konjic if he fails to recover in time.

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 22 Nov 99

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