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Strachan Hopes For Birthday Treat

Coventry’s Belgian striker Cedric Roussel is hoping it will be third time lucky against Sunderland at Highfield Road.

The 21 year old has scored two goals in each of the last two matches and finished on the losing side each time, against Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup and at Manchester United last weekend.

This time he says:

"I don’t mind if I do not score, so long as we win."

Victory would be a fine present for manager Gordon Strachan and his senior coach Garry Pendrey, who both celebrated birthdays on Wednesday.

Strachan will be happier now that the two Moroccan midfielders Moustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo are back from African Nations Cup duty and they will go straight in against Sunderland.

But Coventry still have injury worries.

"Paul Williams has no chance because of a knee injury and there is still a worry over Noel Whelan and his calf strain," reports Strachan.

Richard Shaw, now recovered from his knee injury, is expected to be back in the side alongside Gary Breen at centreback, with the Swedish international Tomas Gustafsson staying at right-back.

Strachan says he is full of admiration for Sunderland.

"They have done very well and have been a great addition to the Premiership. They bring a lot of energy to their games and I am sure they will do that on Saturday.

"Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips have been great for each other. I have admired Niall since I started taking a serious interest in football. They tried to get him at Leeds United when I was there but it never materialised.

"He gets better as he gets older and Phillips has done fantastically well for himself. We need to be aware of how they play and plan for that."

Coventry expect their two Peruvian internationals to be at the match. Ysrael Zuniga, winner of the South America golden boot award and Walter Zevallos, a defender, will sign for Coventry in a double deal costing the English club around 750,000.

Strachan said:

"They will not figure in the first team for awhile. They come from a completely different culture. It is not realistic to expect them to be ready for the first team until they have been here for some time training with us and playing lots of practice games."

Surprise a loved one ... The Giant Card Company

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'Coventry City - the Elite Era' by Jim Brown

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 11 Feb 00

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