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Strachan Looks History In The Face

Coventry manager Strachan is on the brink of making history for the wrong reasons.

If Coventry fail to beat relegated Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday, Strachan will be the first person to go through a season without an away victory both as a player and as a manager.

But the fiery little Scot, who was in the Leeds team that failed to win an away match the year after they won the league, shrugged off the suggestion.

He said:

"Our away form has been a constant embarrassment to me this season and if we do not win, then I can stand another 10 per cent of embarrassment.

"To be honest though, my embarrassment will not be eased if we get that victory. To win one match is not much better than not winning one in my eyes."

Coventry have clocked up 37 of their 44 points at Highfield Road and only Manchester United, Arsenal and Leeds have done better in home games.

But Strachan believes he has put his finger on the reason for the abysmal away form.

He said:

"We have not been getting enough crosses and enough bodies in the penalty area away from home.

"We have been passing the ball through midfield, the strikers have been drawn deeper as a result so that eventually there is often only one player in the box.

“We shall put that right in pre-season."

Gary McAllister is battling to overcome a disc problem to go through the season without missing a game.

The Scot could not train today but a confident Strachan has named him in his team at Watford.

He said:

"It would be a shame if Gary missed out on being ever-present this season.

“It's an achievement to do that. If it comes down to a fitness test he will pass it. He never fails them.”

Strachan revealed that he expects an answer from McAllister in two weeks on whether he will re-sign for Coventry.

“There is no disagreement between us.”

"Gary wants to play as many first team games as possible and there is no point him signing for us if I am going to sign two fantastic midfield players who will cramp his style.

“I have put my cards on the table. He will take a look at the players we bring into the club and then decide what is best for him."

Strachan quashed speculation that he would be signing former Coventry player Phil Babb from Liverpool.

He said:

"I shall not be signing any goalkeepers or defenders. I have enough in those positions.  Phil is a good player but he will not be coming back here."

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 12 May 00

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