Let that be a lesson to you. This may be New Coventry City, but New Coventry City can still lose games when they don’t perform.
After Burton I’d assumed that was us sorted for the season regardless of whether we played well. Not so. Apparently we need to turn up and show quality, lest there be defeat.
Fortunately we’re back at home this weekend playing in front of the much-fabled bank of fans (AKA – “Us”). As long as the rain stays away and I’m not piddled on for the duration of the match, I get the feeling this bunch will put on a very different performance in the luke warm cauldron of the Ricoh Arena and I’ll be sent home happy. There’s just a different vibe about the home games this season. If they perform poorly again then the concern can potentially start.
Out to kick the dream of a happy Saturday night into touch is Chesterfield. The name alone shouldn’t strike fear into any of us, but momentum and their league performance over the last couple of years will. Let me hit you with six paragraphs of Chesterfield knowledge to explain.
How are they getting on?
After gaining promotion to League One in 2014, they gave it a right good go last season and showed up everyone who whinged about not having enough good players, not spending enough money or relying on loan players. This Chesterfield group has developed out of a comparative pitance and goes to show that all whining about not spending money on players if daft. This is League One and you rely on all the assistance you can get, and a crucial part of that assistance is loans. Ultimately the game of football is about a group of eleven footballers forming an effective mindset and unit – Chesterfield have achieved that. You may be able to expedite that process by chucking a load of money at it, but that doesn’t give an excuse to fail if you haven’t.
Anyway. I digress. As for this season, they’ve had another good start and find themselves in 7th place heading into the match at the Ricoh. They’ve won 3, drawn 2 and lost 2 so far, and win today would put them above us.
On the whole, it’s been a good start, but much like us their ultra-recent form isn’t quite as convincing. They’ve only managed one win in their last four league games, missing out on victory in both of their last two outings. They drew 3-3 with Colchester (they were actually 3-1 up at one point) and also succumbed to a 3-2 defeat to Wigan. So plenty of goals scored and conceded in recent weeks, but if they’re anything like us, two games without a win could be enough to introduce some doubt into the group.
Who could cause us trouble?
Captain Sam Morsy is their “enforcer” in midfield, and was an apparent target for Cardiff in the summer, such is his influence over the team.
The man’s got 3 goals so far this campaign, which strikes me as an oddly high tally for anyone deemed an “enforcer”, but either way look out for him giving our soft players what-for if they allow him to dominate. My hope is that Romain will show him who’s boss with the assured ruggedness we’ve all come to love.
They’ve recently bagged former Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake from Preston, which could potentially signal the eventual transition of his career into lower league drifter if he doesn’t manage to do anything for them this year. Fortunately for Chesterfield (and his bank account), he’s started reasonable well, managing to bag a couple of goals thus far.
Irishman Jay O’Shea also has three league goals to his name, so there are willing options to put the ball in the net if the opportunity presents itself.
Sky Blues team news
I know we’re struggling with injuries and bouts of illness at the moment, but I’m looking forward to Mowbray once again being able to settle on a team (without Maddison) that we can play for a sustained period and can all feel happy to commit to. Right now, it feels quite hard to generate the requisite momentum with the weekly changes that are being enforced upon us.
The good news is that Jim O’Brien is back. His dynamism is infectious and feels vital in setting the tone for our performance from the off, and I fully expect him to return to the starting line up.
Young Ryan Kent will be itching to get a start too, and depending on just how much he’s impressed Tony during the week he may be primed for the pitch. With O’Brien back available I’d take a punt that Kent would come in for Lameiras or Murphy instead.
Although Tudgay’s been doing an admirable job while in the team, Tony might just fancy reverting to the wonderfully-adventurous 4-2-4 or 4-2-3-1 formations that have showcased our abilities so well to date. If that’s the case, you’d expect Armstrong to take the lead role and Mowbray to bring in another attacking midfielder to aid the application of the shape. It’d be a shame for Tudgay because individually he’s performed to a good standard, but we’re just so much more blistering when he’s not in the team. The dynamic of the team will always take precedence over the individual.
We’ve also brought in Adam Jackson on loan to provide some competition in defence. He might come off the bench at some point. Or if Tony doesn’t fancy Ricketts at right back, he might have something up his sleeve around that. It seems unlikely, but there’s always a propensity for managers to shove young kids out there if they’re keen to give them first team experience.
We’ve settled ourselves after the illogical 3-0 predictions last week. Things are far more sensible as the Niis recognise that match-by-match form should actually be a strong indicator on how well the team is prepared for the next game.
We’ve not been performing as strongly has we were in August, but there’s still a very good feeling about the team, and Tone’s right about the game being at home being an important influence. There’s a great vibe around the Ricoh on matchdays right now, and there’s a chance we could ride on the back of that again, offsetting any lingering concerns amongst the players about their last couple of matches.
Of course, the other Niis have different views, but I fancy a return to winning ways:
Neil: Coventry 2 – 1 Chesterfield
Joey: Coventry 0 – 3 Chesterfield
Paul: Coventry 1 – 1 Chesterfield
So, what are you thinking? Share your prediction below:[statsfc-score-predictor key=”jwLfbovUFY4PyCDRgPz8zjsNB2nGAjTOLVQlXlAJ” date=”2015-09-19″ team=”coventry city” default_css=”true”]
It’s that time of year again where I’m asking you to vote for Sky Blues Blog in the Football Blogging awards. I’m all about the awards, so if you read the blog, please do show your gratitude for the constant re-enactment of despair you’re treated to by dropping me a vote in the Best Club Football Blog category. Thanks!
Method one: Complete a Nomination form
The simplest way is to use the online form and select “Sky Blues Blog” in the Best Club Blog category and “The Nii Lamptey Show” in the Best Podcast category.
Method two: Post a tweet on Twitter
Loads of you are on Twitter. You can vote for Sky Blues Blog and The Nii Lamptey Show by posting a single tweet for each. Click the link below to do this automatically, or copy the following into a tweet:
I am voting in @TheFBAs for @skybluesblog as the Best Football #Club Blog
I am voting in @TheFBAs for @niilampteyshow as the Best Football #Podcast
Method three: Nomination for the Judges award
Last year I was lucky enough to pick up the prize for the Judges award. It’s not clear whether volume of nominations makes any difference here, but if you’d like to put Sky Blues Blog or Nii Lamptey Show forward, visit the website below and complete what you can of the form. I’ve feel free to vote for me in both the Best Club or Established blog, while the Lamptey Show is up for the best Podcast.