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Sky Blue Strike Force Praised

Coventry City manager Gordon Strachan has hailed his super strike force of Robbie Keane and Noel Whelan ahead of Saturday's trip to Upton Park.

The Sky Blues boss was delighted with the way the duo performed in the recent victory over Middlesbrough and hinted that Whelan would retain his place in the side regardless of whether Belgian Cedric Roussel passed a late fitness test.

Transfer-listed Whelan had been struggling to find his form since a lengthy injury lay-off but the Boro victory saw him back close to his best.

Strachan said:

"Robbie was excellent in that game but to be fair I thought Noel did extremely well beside him and backed up nicely."

Another individual that Strachan singled out for praise from that 2-0 win was Moroccan Moustapha Hadji, but international duty means he will not be in the squad to face the Hammers.

He said:

"I thought Moustapha was excellent as well because it was not an easy job to contain Ziege but I thought Hadji was a bigger influence on the game than him."

Although the West Ham clash offers City one of their final three opportunities to record their first away win of the season, Strachan admits he may not be able to play the way he would like to.

He said:

"The bodies we have got available tomorrow mean that we may just have to change the system a wee bit.

"We have to look at something different because the team I would like to put out is not there.

"Having said that, the people I have been working with this week have been excellent and fully aware of what we are trying to do.

"If we do have to try something different then so be it, but I think when you look at the top teams in the division they all play with a back four so it is not just me that favours that formation."

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'Coventry City - the Elite Era' by Jim Brown

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 20 Apr 00

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