You know, before the season started my interest in Coventry was waning. It felt as though the life had been sapped from me, and with everything that was going on with admin and this bloody move away from the Ricoh, I couldn’t feel any enjoyment with what was happening on the pitch. I mean, how could I? How could we?
Now, that’s still true in most respects – it’s impossible to truly enjoy a season I’m having very little exposure to – but I can’t deny that my interest with this bunch of players has risen since we got back to playing games of football. Knowing me like I do, there’s a sense of inevitability about this response. I find I’m keeping all my anger and frustration for during the week, and resurrect my support and focus for Sunday best.
This lot have come back after a turbulent summer and they’re actually proving to be an exciting team – and I mean insanely so. Obviously this does nothing to palliate the travesty that has befallen most fans. We don’t take lightly missing out on the team playing well. What we’re left with is this horribly complex emotional juggling act – a natural happiness when the team does well, while harbouring intense resentment towards the situation whenever it happens in Northampton.
But the key point here: I’m still interested. I just can’t help myself.
This weekend Preston – a regular annoyance from last season – travel to Northampton to play us (argh, one more time). Let’s have a think about what sort of opposition they might pose to our unrelenting flurry of goalscoring lunacy..
How are they getting on?
You might have heard this from me already, but they’re unbeaten all season. Pretty good stat huh? You don’t wanna mess with them.
Well, maybe not. They may not have lost a game, but that single interpretation of the data is misleading. Because much like Andy Thorn’s opening to last season, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
In this case, Preston have drawn all three league games so far, with two being 0-0. They drew their last match 2-2, with one of those goals being an own goal. So if you dig a little deeper, there’s another interpretation staring at you in the face.
You could also look at it and deduce that they’ve kept three clean sheets out of four, ergo, they’re brilliant at defending.
Basically what I’m saying is that teams are still finding their feet, so we don’t really know just yet. But they’re in one of those positions where the next result will have quite a bearing on how their start to the campaign is perceived. Even if it’s a draw.
Who could cause us trouble?
I tell who I’m scared of – Big Kevin Davies. I know it’s obvious given where he’s come from, but it’s the type of player he is which is what most concerns me most, rather than the name.
The centre of our defence includes Jordan Clarke. Jordan isn’t your regular centre-half, in an aesthetic sense and due to the fact he can actually control a ball. But I do wonder about these experienced strikers who know how to bully defenders. We’ve brought in Andy Webster, and he’s been gratefully received, but Davies will eye up who he can impose himself upon, and seek them out.
I always notice Stuart Beavon’s name mentioned on PNE forums, especially during out frequent bouts back in the winter. Joe Garner grabbed his first goal of the season last week too – the only Preston player to have scored in the league so far.
Sky Blues team news
Pressley should be OK to go with the same team that tonked Carlisle and also gave Bristol a right old time of it. The team is clicking like you wouldn’t believe, so the thought of fiddling with such a potent formal seems a barmy one.
I’m especially looking forward to seeing how Billy Daniels‘ progression continues on that right hand side. He’s been a revelation so far.
Using the new Sky Blues Blog Squad Selector, I’ve detailed how the team ought to line up.
You can have a go too – skybluesblog.co.uk/selector. Select your formation, choose the players you think we should play, then share it on Twitter (or save the image for your own enjoyment).
Obviously this’ll be far more fun when our team is a little less predictable.
The lads are really flying at the moment. So much so it’d be a massive upset to me if our performance levels were to drop. But I can’t see that happening (he said, stupidly) – I reckon we’re going to carry on being great and take ourselves a third win in a row.
As you can see, the Lamptey boys felt the same on this week’s show.
Joey: Coventry 2-1 Preston
Paul: Coventry 4-1 Preston
Neil: Coventry 2-0 Preston
Shaun: Coventry 1-1 Preston