Coventry’s manager Gordon Strachan has an anxious wait to hear
whether his magical Moroccans Moustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo have
arrived safely on their flying visit to play against Wimbledon.
The Moroccans are with their national squad preparing for the
forthcoming African Nations Cup tournament that could keep them away
for five weeks.
The players however were so keen to play one last game for Coventry
that they persuaded their national coach to let them fly back to
England for the match against Wimbledon at Highfield Road.
They are due to arrive at Heathrow Airport tomorrow and they will
drive up to Coventry’s training camp for one day with club mates
before the Premiership match. They are due to fly back to Casablanca
on Saturday evening.
Strachan is particularly keen to have them in his side, especially
after Chippo’s two magnificent goals in last weekend’s FA Cup tie
The manager has a problem during their absence when he has to find
midfield cover from among his younger professionals.
He can choose between an Englishman John Eustace, a Scotsman Gavin
Strachan, an Irishman Barry Quinn and a Norwegian Runar Normann. They
played in the reserves against Wimbledon reserves last night with
Eustace and Strachan getting the goals in the 2-0 victory.
Strachan has alternatives however. Swedish international right back
Tomas Gustafsson, signed from AIK Solna, Stockholm, played his first
full game for the club in the reserves and his inclusion in the first
team would release Paul Telfer to move up to midfield when the
The manager could also play Noel Whelan in midfield and keep Cedric
Roussel up front alongside Robbie Keane.
On Saturday however he has only one concern, whether to start with
Roussel or Whelan. Roussel started the last three games, but Whelan
scored when he went on as substitute against Burnley.
The team against Wimbledon is expected to be: Hedman, Telfer,
Breen, Williams, Froggatt, Hadji, McAllister, Palmer, Chippo, Keane,
Roussel or Whelan.