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City Ready For Chelsea Challenge

Party poopers Coventry hope finally to wipe out Chelseaís championship chances tonight ten days after almost sinking Arsenalís hopes.

But there are no fancy ambitions of a place in Europe being expressed by Coventryís pragmatic manager Gordon Strachan going into the match at Highfield Road.

The Scotsman said: 

"Our target is always the clubs immediately above us. We want to get past them as quickly as possible and then we can set a new target."

Coventry go into tonightís game drained by a heavy injury list, but backed by an impressive home record against Chelsea, who last won at Highfield Road in October 1992.

They have beaten the London club on its last four visits, but Strachan said: 

"I pay no attention to statistics whether they are in our favour or not. What has happened in the past has no bearing on this game."

Coventry produced a seasonís-best performance in beating Arsenal on Boxing Day and Strachan says: 

"We were disappointed that the match at Middlesbrough was postponed. The players have hit a vein of form, the performance against Arsenal was fantastic and we want to keep it going against Chelsea.

"We have to play at a high tempo against the top sides. If we try to play with a slow build up we will struggle. Chelsea maybe do not have quite so much pace up front as Arsenal and they build up a bit slower, but the chances they make against you are usually good chances. They have people to score from all over the place, but we have to be particularly watchful of Flo, Poyet and Zola."

Coventry still have main defenders Richard Shaw, David Burrows, Marc Edworthy, Mo Konjic, Marcus Hall and striker John Aloisi on the long term injury list. Strachanís only selection decision is whether Noel Whelan or Belgian Cedric Roussel will be Robbie Keaneís striker partner.

The Hare and Hounds, Coventry

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'Coventry City - the Elite Era' by Jim Brown

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 4 Jan 00

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