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Sky Blues Stars Return To Action

The Sky Blues injury crisis in beginning to ease after three first team squad members returned to action in the reserves last night.

Swedish full-back Tomas Gustafsson has shaken off a hamstring injury which has been troubling him for over a month, and Republic of Ireland international Barry Quinn has made a rapid return from ankle ligament damage.

Norwegian winger Runar Normann was also the side and all three should be available for the last day of the season trip to Vicarage Road on Sunday.

A win would have given Trevor Peake’s side a fourth place finish in the FA Premier Reserve League but two late goals for Southampton allowed them to finish above the visitors.

At one stage it was very doubtful the game would be played at all after thunderstorm left water sitting on The Dell playing surface, but both sides requested the tie continue.

The referee allowed 45 minutes delay to the match before deeming that the pitch had recovered enough for play to be safe.

It was an end-to-end encounter and the biggest surprise of was that it took 86 minutes for a goal to arrive.

Youngster Stephen McPhee looked lively and seemed to have broken the deadlock when he fired the ball towards goal in the second period.

However, the shot cannoned back off the Saints keeper leaving Chukki Eribenne, who has recently returned from a loan spell at Roland Nilsson’s Helsingborgs, with a follow up opportunity.

The striker looked to have converted but the ball cannoned back off the inside of the post and was cleared to safety by veteran Frances Benali.

It seemed the spoils would be shared but two strikes in the final four minutes for Latvian Imants Bleidelis gave the home side the points.

Afterwards Swedish international Gustafsson admitted it was good be back in action.

He said:

“I am very pleased to have played in a match again after being out for a number of games.

“I am just concentrating now on getting my fitness back and I am very much looking forward to pre-season next year.

“The aim for me is to build up my fitness and performances to mount a strong challenge for a first team place.”

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 9 May 00

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