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[06 MAY 01] COVENTRY CITY NEWS
Strachan Still The Man For The Job

Bryan Richardson, Coventry City FCCoventry City chairman Bryan Richardson today said manager Gordon Strachan will remain in charge at Highfield Road after the club were relegated yesterday.

Richardson also insisted that the new stadium project will still go ahead and he urged City fans to stay with the club.

The Sky Blues threw away a two goal lead to lose 3-2 at rivals Aston Villa and that was enough to send them out of the top flight for the first time in 34 years.

Derby beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and Middlesbrough managed a point against Bradford, so City would have been down whatever result they had managed at Villa Park.

Strachan refused to talk about relegation, preferring to concentrate on Saturday's game and it was left to Richardson to assess the club's position.

He said:

"I feel exactly as the fans do - I am desperately sorry and totally gutted. It is certainly not for the want of investment and effort and it is a tragic situation but I believe we will be the favourites to come back up and if we do that, then next season will be a lot of fun.

"The fans know that in Gordon Strachan they have someone who will always do his best and really cares for the club - you can't just buy that.

"This is a great club and we will all do out best to make sure that we come back up. Staying in the Premiership for the last few years has been desperately difficult and to do it for as long as we have is remarkable.

"I would say to the supporters, get behind Gordon, get behind the players and remember that it is your club."

But Richardson also made it plain that the rebuilding will start immediately and that could mean several players leaving in the summer.

"I think we will keep all the players we want to keep. If players say they are not too fussed and don't want to play in the First Division then as far as Gordon is concerned they are not the ones for us.

"If they are not prepared to pull the shirt on and get us straight back then they are not the players for us.

"We do have to sell a player or two and we will sell someone we don't consider to be crucial to us getting straight back up.

"We are going to be 15 million worse off and people will understand that we have to make adjustments. We have got a very good board at the club and they have put their heart and soul into the club. They have also put in large amounts of money for no financial gain and that support will remain."

Strachan also got backing from Aston Villa manager John Gregory.

He said:

"I would like to have seen them stay in the division but I don't think the blame falls on us - they had 36 games before they played us here.

"I think Gordon is the man to fetch them back up. I am not telling Mr Richardson how to do his job but Gordon is the best man for the job and they will be favourites to bounce back."

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 6 May 01
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