[tabby title=”Ramble”]Confidence is a bitch.

Steven Pressley spoke after our hammering at Oldham about the fragility of the side and how much of an impact the defeats are now having on belief, both collectively and as individuals.

It’s a qualitative assessment as the notion of confidence is an influence which impacts each player to varying degrees. But as far as identifying a core concern for us right now, I have to say I agree with him. While the escalating sequence of poor performances is the direct result of individual errors, it has roots in depleting levels of confidence throughout the match day personnel. I’m by no means a pro, but if you were to ask me what the the number one influence over my performance on a football pitch is, I’d say confidence all day long. Confidence in your own ability is the key to any footballer performing to an optimum level. If you’re feeling on top of your game, you’re going to play better than when you’re riddled with self-doubt. Mistakes arise when you question yourself and your decision making; even without any conscious thought you curb your natural game and it’s this hesitancy which has proved so prevalent in our play recently.

Of course, there’s no single reason or single fix. That’s just one facet. Pressley’s unenviable task is to select the perfect combination of players, in the right shape, to combat all the negative influences affecting our matches at the moment and implement the fix successfully.

Good luck mate. It’s often forgotten afterwards, but you look back to pre-game thoughts and it’s interesting just how many of his changes get recognition as being the “right” decision. Obviously the 3-5-2 is still winding many people up, but he brought in Maddison, had Phillips and Haynes as wingbacks, and re-introduced Fleck – all things that left many people happy. In the end nothing you do can warrant for Jordan Willis making a pigs ear of being a defender at the crucial moment though.

“Don’t play him” you’ll hear the hindsight-ists belch.

Football is never simple. You can do all you can, and even follow everything the fans expect from you, then the players go out and continue to make errors because they’re lacking the belief.

The good news it only ever takes one game – one moment – to entirely adjust the mindset of a football side. There’s no reason that can’t be today. We’re up against a good Peterborough side who are capable of beating anyone in this league, but as you’ll find out below, can also lose games of football just like everyone else.

How are they getting on?

The table is looking pretty good to their fans at the moment. Let’s face it – this is Peterborough in League One. It always bloody does.

While they may be second, I’m going to put it out there – they can also be hit and miss. Four defeats so far this season has been offset handily by 8 wins. It’s the L column which should give you hope. They lost their last match away at Crewe, proving that it’s not only us who can make a mess of the games you’re absolutely banking on winning.

Who could cause us trouble?

We had a good chat about their squad on this week’s Lamptey. Another football “thing” is using the familiarity of players as some sort of gauge of their quality. You’d be forgiven for scanning their recent line-ups without noticing any stand-out players – that really doesn’t mean a thing. As we’ve shown during our time in League One so far, having recognisable names in your squad will ultimately make very little difference.

Their top scorer is Kyle Vassell, a fairly nomadic young striker who has found a route back into the Football League following a few years in non league. Things are looking up for the lad however, with 5 goals in 12 games to date.

Of the more knowable names, Grant McCann is still there, albeit not playing as often as he used to. There may well be two Maddisons on the pitch this afternoon also, with Marcus Maddison currently doing a solid job of making a name for himself, finding the net 4 times from midfield already this season. From what I’ve heard he’s a name we could expect to see on the scoresheet again.

Sky Blues team news

We’re desperate for some freshness given the enforced rotation of equally out-of-form players we’re currently going through. The good news is that big boys Reda and Frank are back in training, but Pressley has already noted that he’s wary of risking them, lest we bugger up their recovery and make things worse.

If you ask me, he’s just being coy. I’m sure we’ll see Frank at some point. It’s all been very quiet on the Reda Johnson front however – what’s even wrong with him? I can’t see him making it in time even though it’d be a huge psychological boost if he did.

As for the rest, you could toss a coin. Swanson and Pugh are going to be out for a little while, but then it’s up to Pressley to fashion some sort of team from the rest of players. Dress it up however you like, it’s going to be a stab in the dark as the majority are under the influence of the ruddy “confidence umbrella” we spoke about earlier.

After his first start for the club during the week, it could be a very big day for our very own Maddison. If he is chosen for his full home debut, I hope he revels in it. It’s a pleasure to watch him enjoy his football this season.

Predictions

Just 14 days ago we settled down to a game against Crewe and Paul Knowles and I predicted outrageously resounding wins.

Two weeks later, and our performances have made those predictions look even barmier than they did at the time. Fortunately predictions are bollocks most of the time, so it doesn’t really matter. Anything can happen at any time. It’ll probably be a loss for City because we seem to be bloody cursed, but I sense it could be time for our lot to get a grip.

And by “get a grip” I mean draw 1-1.

Joey: Coventry 2 – 2 Peterborough

Neil: Coventry 1 – 1 Peterborough

Paul: Coventry 0 – 3 Peterborough

So, what you thinking? Share your prediction below:

[statsfc-score-predictor team=”Coventry” date=”2014-10-25″ key=”jwLfbovUFY4PyCDRgPz8zjsNB2nGAjTOLVQlXlAJ” default_css=”true”] [tabby title=”Podcast”]This week: Lamptey cross. Lamptey sad. Lamptey don’t know how things got so bad.

Contains another attempt to debunk football. It’s not for debunking.

PS. Big sozzes for the opening 3 minutes of hiss.

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