Morning all. Back to normal again, which is me not attending a game. Shame.
A defeat to Pork Vale last weekend ended up as a disappointment more than a frustration, which is a strange way for me to feel after a football match. But the signs were there that we are really quite a good football team, and even I – with my Roy Keane obsession – found that hard to ignore. OK, so the second half drifted away from us and we lost our composure at the front and back, but should that destroy the momentum and confidence our players have built up over the past 7 weeks? Should it buggery. In the immortal words of Andy Thorn: We go again.
And go we do, to Northampton, to play Brentford at a neutral venue.
Don’t mind me. I’ll just wear mine on the sofa.
How are they getting on?
I had Brentford to go up last season, and when that didn’t materialise after an unfortunate play-off defeat to Yeovil, my immediate thought was that they’d definitely manage it this year. You see I’ve always admired their style and the approach of manager Uwe Rosler. He gets football, and what it takes to win. You could say he’s charmed me, like a German Karen Roper.
But they’re currently in 11th, which isn’t where they’d expect to be and people are getting a bit twitchy. The reality is this isn’t that bad. They’re 4 points off the play-off places, and it’s only really the previous 3 game stretch where there’s been a blip, and even then they still managed to punctuate defeats with an away win. It’s not that bad, the people at the top have just gone a bit crazy. I’m sure that’ll settle down.
It’s going to be a tough game if you ask me. Possibly our trickiest test to date.
Who could cause us trouble?
As far as League One strike forces go, the names Clayton Donaldson and Will Grigg will be up there as one of the prime combinations. With 44 goals between them last season, they were alongside our own hitmen McGoldrick and Clarke in the scoring charts for a hefty chunk of the campaign.
Mind you, their top scorer in all competitions this season isn’t either one of those, he’s not even really a first teamer. It’s former Falkirk striker Farid El Alagui, with 5 goals so far, but only one of those coming in League One.
Sky Blues team news
With a defeat and a couple of injuries to nurse, for the first time in a while it’s not entirely clear who will get the nod in our starting lineup.
Carl Baker had a bit of an iffy game last weekend, and is also struggling with a strain, meaning we’ll have to think about the options if he’s not available. If he is OK, I sense Pressley will want to keep him involved.
As far as replacements go, unfortunately Billy Daniels is also having problems of his own, so it’s very unlikely he’ll be available as an alternative. That leaves a potential gap. That could see the introduction of Adam Barton, with a slight adjustment to the shape of the midfield. Or we could bring in Manset and again re-jig the positioning and nudge Wilson wide.
I doubt Pressley will be quite so disruptive as to pull out his most potent striker however, especially with Manset still only appearing capable of 5 minutes running (down a hill, with a trailing wind, in his slippers, while overdosed on E Numbers).
We’ll have to wait and see I guess, but here’s what I think we could go with. In short, I reckon Baker will be OK and we’ll have the same again, rendering the previous four paragraphs obsolete.
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It’s amazing what a defeat can do to the fan mindset (well mine at least). Don’t get me wrong, I still think we’re great. I just also think Brentford are pretty good and could cause us a bit more trouble than expected. And knowing now that we are fallible and can lose (I was beginning to wonder), I have to admit that feeling is playing on my mind a smidge.
So for the first time in weeks, the Niis aren’t unanimously confident..
Joey: Coventry 2 – 0 Brentford
Paul: Coventry 3 – 0 Brentford
Neil: Coventry 1 – 1 Brentford