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Yellow Balls For The Canaries

Coventry manager Gordon Strachan has left no stone unturned in his quest for success in what he calls ‘the greatest knock-out competition in the world after the World Cup’.

Strachan is well aware that it is thirteen years since Coventry won the FA Cup and he believes it is time their luck changed.

On learning that cup opponents Norwich City had elected to play with the lighter footballs commonplace in the Nationwide League, Strachan immediately shipped in a dozen of the yellow balls for his players to train with.

"These footballs are definitely lighter and they bounce higher than the ones we have been used to playing with in the Premiership. We have trained with the yellow balls all week," says the Scot.

But Strachan admits that when it comes to tactics Norwich manager Bruce Rioch has him confused.

"We have watched Norwich a few times and they have played about four different systems," explains Strachan. "They have played 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 3-4-3 and I have decided that it is pointless trying to keep changing our system.

"We shall be playing our usual 4-4-2 but I have warned my players to be wary that Norwich might switch around during the match. We will go with our system and hope our tactics are the more powerful of the two teams."

Coventry’s manager says he expects a tough match at Carrow Road.

"Any team playing at home is confident they can win and Bruce Rioch is a good manager. He has survived a long time, which shows he is good at his job."

Coventry have not won away from home since 3 April when they beat Sheffield Wednesday, but they have been away draw specialists this season with six in eight matches.

Striker Robbie Keane has happy memories of Carrow Road. He scored twice on his debut there for Wolverhampton Wanderers and has totalled four in five matches against ‘The Canaries’.

Coventry will again have a patchwork defence. David Burrows, Marc Edworthy, Marcus Hall, Richard Shaw (knee injuries) and Mo Konjic (fractured cheekbone) are ruled out. Steve Froggatt will be at left back and Gary Breen will be centreback, if he recovers from a thigh muscle injury.

The Hare and Hounds, Coventry

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 10 Dec 99

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