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Coventry Preview

Posted on 15 January 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

It was defeat at home to Grimsby that signalled the end of Gordon Strachan's reign as Coventry manager in September.

Newly relegated from the Premiership, Strachan's men were not exactly setting Division One on fire and the natives were getting restless. The Scot certainly felt the pressure during the club's fall from long-serving top flight grace - he revealed in his Observer column that he once took himself off for a walk to relieve stress and later had to phone his wife for a lift when he realised he was 17 miles from home.

Whether he was relieved of stress or not, he was relieved of his duties after three defeats in the opening five games of the season.

Rookie boss Roland Nilsson took over the hotseat and made an instant impact. Coventry embarked on an 11 game unbeaten league run following the Swede's appointment - sparking comparisons in some quarters with one Sven Goran Eriksson. If you're looking for a quick fix, send for a Swede! It appears to work.

Nilsson then discovered the flip side of the coin with three straight defeats. Of late it has been a mixed bag - seven defeats out of 12 since the unbeaten run - and a wise old head has been drafted in to assist Nilsson.

Jim Smith is back, the old Bald Eagle has returned to football at Nilsson's side, although his welcome back was a 3-1 defeat to Wolves on Sunday. The partnership is similar to the former Ron Atkinson-Strachan arrangement, young boss with an experienced sidekick.

However, Atkinson was director of football - a role Smith turned down at Derby. Smith is assistant manager, a position much more suited to the passionate former boss of eight other clubs.

Coventry now turn their attention towards the Cup and away from league frustration. Nilsson believes a good performance against us would be the perfect tonic after defeat at Wolves.

"The players will have to pick themselves up," said Nilsson. "An FA Cup game against Spurs at home should lift the boys and I think they will go out there and do a good job.

"I think there are few reasons why things have gone wrong and you can point the finger at different areas, but I think the main thing now is that we have to let the Sunday game go away.

"There is nothing we can do about it, but now we have to make sure we put on a good performance against Spurs."

The Sky Blues have defender Mo Konjic back after suspension, but striker Lee Mills is not expected to play in the cup-tie.

Nilsson added: "Mo is back and he is a very good option for us, but Lee is struggling and looks very doubtful for tomorrow - otherwise it looks okay.

"Jay came in on Sunday and did very well and Jairo is always looking sharp so that gives us quite a few options up front - hopefully we can make it a good game against Tottenham."

Lee Hughes is still missing through suspension but Marcus Hall is on his way back after playing in the reserves' 1-1 draw at Leicester City last night.

Gavin Strachan was on target in that game for Coventry's second string.