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City Must Halt The Slide

Gordon Strachan is looking for his side to display the sort of home form which has kept them clear of the relegation zone, against Middlesbrough at Highfield Road tomorrow.

The form has dipped in recent weeks, but showed signs of a return in the 2-1 midweek defeat at Chelsea. But he does not under-estimate the task facing his side against his old pal Bryan Robson's outfit.

"They've got their strongest and biggest unit out now, with Deane, Ricard and Campbell up front and Mustoe back in midfield with Ince," said Strachan.

"I think they are playing the ball forward earlier, they're trying to get crosses in and that is what we have got to guard against. I want to see us getting more crosses into the box, because that has been one of our failings in recent weeks.

"We have spoken as a group since the Chelsea game and some of the players are in total agreement with me that they could have played better, but we have seen an improvement since the Liverpool game."

Coventry's slide began after their 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough in mid-February and Strachan said:

"We were poor, dreadfully poor at Riverside.

"We have not been able to come up with any answers for that performance, I think it was just one of those games that was a complete and utter stinker.

"We have to accept any criticism that comes our way after performances like that. Now we have got to finish the season well, because there is no doubt we started poorly had a great middle and we have become poor again. We need to give ourselves a good shake.

"In midweek Chelsea's two goals came from our mistakes. In pre-season we have a whole lot stuff to go through again when the players' minds are right. We can't do it at this stage of the season, but when you look at the stats we need to do better against the top five sides.

"This season we have taken four points from the top five sides and that is poor."

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'Coventry City - the Elite Era' by Jim Brown

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 14 Apr 00

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