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Strachan Respects Charlton

There is no danger that Coventry manager Gordon Strachan will be underestimating Charlton Athletic in Saturday’s FA Cup fifth round tie.

Strachan says: 

"I have seen Charlton play several times this season and they are the best team in the First Division. They surely can win the championship and I hope we shall be meeting again next season in the Premiership."

He adds with a grin: 

"For the managers’ sakes if nothing else."

"They are a quality side. I saw them at the start of the season and recently I saw them play Wolves. They are one of the teams on television that you want to watch because you know you are going to get a good standard of football and they never disappoint you.

"They are a Premiership side and I think we shall see a Premiership game."

Coventry will make one change from the team which fought out a goalless draw at Derby County last weekend. 

"Carlton Palmer will be back after his one game suspension, but we have so many injuries at the moment that I look around the training ground and pick eleven from that."

City still have David Burrows, Marc Edworthy, Marcus Hall and John Aloisi under treatment, and Youssef Chippo and Moustapha Hadji on African Nations Cup duty with Morocco, but Richard Shaw is on the brink of a first team return after ten weeks out with a knee problem.

He played in the reserves on Monday against Wimbledon and reported no ill effects.

But Strachan is happy with the performances of those deputising for the top men. 

"I am pleased with the way they have performed. They did well at Derby County, but we are still chasing that first away win.

"The season ticket holders at Highfield Road are getting great value for money, but I feel sorry for our supporters who travel away. We are still scratching our heads as to the reason why we have not won away.

"Maybe we should be more defensive playing away, but to be honest we do not have that option with two wingers as emergency full backs."

"But this cup tie is very important for both teams. When the word ‘final’ is used in Sunday’s cup draw, that’s when teams start to think about Wembley. At the present time the best chance we have for some silverware is through cup ties – there is no doubt about that."

Young striker Chukki Eribenne is Sweden bound as part of a new link between Coventry City and Helsingborgs.

The clubs have developed an agreement to loan players to each other allowing them to gain valuable experience in another country.

Roland Nilsson, Helsingborgs director of footballHelsingborgs director of football Roland Nilsson tied up the deal to take Eribenne to Sweden for two months on a recent visit back to the Coventry, where he spent two years as a player.

City manager Gordon Strachan is delighted with the news and believes it will help Eribenne develop as a player.

He said: 

"Helsingborgs are the champions of Sweden and they are in the Champions League, so it will be a great place to be."

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'Coventry City - the Elite Era' by Jim Brown

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 28 Jan 00

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