When you don’t want the next game to come, they give you twelve in a fortnight. When you’re actually desperate to get back on the pitch, they always keep you waiting. Ruddy football fixture gods.
I’ve been pining for another match ever since the lunacy of last weekend. However if I take my selfish fan hat off for a second, the delay won’t have been the worst thing in the world for the players. With Johnson and Nouble seemingly integral cogs for our squad confidence, we really could do with all the recovery time that’s available. It was a hasty but crucial re-introduction against Peterborough, and while we don’t want their presence in the team to become a “thing”, it clearly made some sort of difference to the team. We’re not in a position to forego such obvious catalysts of self-belief just yet.
I was daft enough to hold off getting a ticket for today even though it’s a fixture that’s been in my mind for weeks, so I’ll be one of the 300 turning up on the gate looking to catch a glimpse of this potentially revitalised team. Failing that, you’ll find me in the home end pretending not to care about Coventry City. Wish me luck.
How are they getting on?
I’ve spent the previous 18 months denouncing them as a genuine League One force, but my predicted collapse didn’t materialise and they’ve proven extremely strong opposition for most teams during that period. This season isn’t quite going their way though. I know you can’t discredit any team in early November – just look at what Sheffield Utd did last season – but they’ve struggled to get started so far.
Losing their unpredictably impressive leader Russell Slade won’t have helped, but they’ve got a replacement in now and should be all set to turn things around. As inexperienced as Mauro Milanese may seem, there’s too much evidence to ignore when it comes to new manager syndrome. It often has an influence over team performance, even in the short term. That’s not great news for us.
One thing going in our favour however is the well-publicised fact that Orient have yet to win at home this season.
That would be something to pounce on, if we’d actually managed an away victory ourselves.
Who could cause us trouble?
While Peterborough’s line up was full of people we didn’t recognise, Leyton Orient have done a good job of acquiring a useful selection of “names”.
Vincelot, Cox, Lisbie, Mooney, McAnuff, Henderson, Simpson – all players who immediately catch the eye. That may seem to be a very lazy way of assessing an opposition, but when you look at who is actually putting the ball away for them this season, it stacks up. Henderson, Vincelot and McAnuff make up their top three goalscorers, and pending something radical by the new boss, you’d expect that threat to remain.
Sky Blues team news
The ideal would be to stick with the team that emerged triumphant last week, but unfortunately Seb Hines has picked up an injury and Conor Thomas’ yellow card means he’s picked up a suspension already. This leaves a couple of key decisions for Pressley to make. He’s made his intentions clear in defence with the loan signing of Aaron Martin who’s set to embed himself in the vacant centre back’s spot.
What’s more complex is how we’re going to adjust the side to compensate for the missing Thomas. The alternatives are interesting. There’s a fair argument for reverting back to 3-5-2. That probably wouldn’t be popular given the hyper-sensitivity towards that particular formation at the moment, but I saw no definitive correlation between the shape and how we actually performed during the last game. I wouldn’t be totally adverse to bringing in Phillips and re-moulding into a midfield three of O’Brien, Barton and Fleck.
I sense what’s more likely is that Pressley will nudge O’Brien back into the centre and ask Coulibaly to come in and be the threat on the right-hand side.
New loanee Gary Madine seems set to start up front with Nouble, giving a markedly different feel to our attacking options. While he comes across as a right tit, from a footballing perspective, I’m keen on him as a partner for Frank.
It was a treat making a prediction following such an exhilarating win. As all good Coventry fans know, it means sod all in reality – as you can tell by this week’s ultra-safe suggestions by the Niis. A draw is on the cards.
Joey: Leyton Orient 2 – 2 Coventry
Neil: Leyton Orient 2 – 2 Coventry
Paul: Leyton Orient 1 – 1 Coventry
So, what you thinking? Share your prediction below:[statsfc-score-predictor team=”Coventry” date=”2014-10-31″ key=”jwLfbovUFY4PyCDRgPz8zjsNB2nGAjTOLVQlXlAJ” default_css=”true”] [tabby title=”Podcast”]
This week: The Niis are rubbing their thighs about the Peterborough comeback, and in particular Mr Nouble’s influence over things.
Contains varied pronunciations of his name during the same sentence.
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