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Match Previews

Coventry Preview

Andy Phillips previews Saturday afternoon's trip to the Ricoh Arena.

22 March 2018

Town head to Coventry City on Saturday afternoon (3pm) as new boss Michael Jolley looks for his first victory in charge of the Mariners.

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The Mariners will make their first ever visit to the Ricoh Arena at the weekend, and will again be looking for that elusive victory that will help the side move away from the relegation zone and towards safety.

However, it will be a tough test against a Coventry side that are in good form as of late and find themselves in the play-offs, so Town will have to be focused to get a positive result from the fixture.

Town without several players through injury

Town will continue to be without Luke Summerfield, Karleigh Osborne, Paul Dixon and loanee Simeon Jackson will continue to be missing and are yet to return to full training despite making progress with their recoveries this week, whilst Andrew Fox and Mitch Rose are also doubts after picking up knocks.

Leeds United loanee Malik Wilks has put himself into contention after recovering from his injury and scoring a brace for the Reserves earlier in the week, whilst new signing Gary McSheffrey could also be in line for a start after coming through his first full week of training with the club.

Coventry have been without the lively Jodi Jones for most of the season after the explosive winger picked up a cruciate knee ligament injury back in November, whilst another important playmaker in Frenchman Tony Andreu is also out for the rest of the campaign with a knee injury. The Sky Blues should have a largely fully fit squad other than this. 

Coventry aiming for promotion

Coventry were one of the favourites for promotion at the start of the season under manager Mark Robins following their relegation from League One, and they are 

Robins took over in March 2017 for a second spell in charge after a successful few months in charge at the Ricoh Arena back in 2012.

Althoug he was unable to stop the almost unavoidable slide into League Two, the former Huddersfield Town and Scunthorpe United boss has built a side that look like they know what they are doing this season and are still doing well despite two of their most important players being missing in Jones and Andreu.

The Sky Blues have let in fewer goals than any team in the division after conceding 31 goals in 3 games, whilst they also have a potent goalscorer in Scottish striker Marc McNulty, who has hit 16 goals so far this year.

Coming into the game on Saturday, Coventry are unbeaten in their last five league games and won 2-1 at Crewe Alexandra last time out thanks to goals from Jonson Clark-Harris and Tom Bayliss, so it is expected they will be in and amongst the race for promotion come the end of the season.

Defeat for the Mariners back in August

The reverse fixture between the two sides back in August was the first encounter between Town and Coventry in 15 years.

Town's first home game of the season ended in a 2-0 defeat at Blundell Park thanks to goals from Marc McNulty and Jack Grimmer, so a different result would be very welcome this time out.

Both sides have met each other 26 times in the past, with Coventry winning 14 and the Mariners winning eight along with there being four draws. 

Managers in summary

Michael Jolley: ''We've watched Coventry and analysed thme. like every team they have strenghs and areas not quite so we have to make sure we play on areas they're not quite as strong and use the players we've got to try and expose them. We've got eight games, we need to gi int oeach game with a positive mindset and I'm sure if we do tha and peform well, te points and wins we deserve will come our way.'' 


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