Menu

Preview: Coventry City v Blues

Our full match preview ahead of tonight's trip to St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium to take on Coventry City (7.45pm Kick-off).

Aitor Karanka on a busy month ahead…
I think it’s good to start again after the international break. We were left with a bad taste in our mouth with the results before. With these two weeks, working on the training pitch, we can show that we are improving. I want us to show that improvement in the game.

On returning players…
Adam Clayton and Zach Jeacock are not training with the team. The rest of the squads are fit. They’re ready to play and they’re looking forward to the game.

On being the away side at St. Andrew’s…
I don’t think it will have too much of an impact. I don’t want to say it’s the same to play at home or away because you always want to play where you know the changing room, the stadium, everything. We need to forget whether we are playing at home or away and just focus on the game. We are playing against a good team, a team which created a lot of problems for us last year in the FA Cup and they were in League One at the time. They’re now in the Championship, they’re better, Mark [Robins] is doing a really good job so we need to prepare for a tough game and approach it in the right way, especially after losing the last two games.

On being a working progress…
We can’t complain or make excuses. We have been in the Championship for more years than Coventry, so we need to show our improvements. We need to show everybody what we have been working on these last two weeks and to try to be as competitive as we can. I want the sort of consistency we saw against Preston or Huddersfield or any of the other game where we played well.

On EFL rule change allowing five substitutes…
I think it will benefit everybody. With nine games in a row, in the space of one month, it’s difficult to manage the team and the squads. If I had known this ruling at the beginning of the season, maybe I would have built the squad in a different way. You can rest players for the following games now, maybe you don’t need to have 20-22 players and maybe with 16-17 players, it would have been enough. So, yes it will benefit the game but it’s true I maybe would have built the squad in a different way.

On adapting quickly to the rule change…
It can have a massive impact on games and the manager who adapts quickest will have a massive advantage. Let’s see how it works. The main thing is we have a very good squad, so I have to try to do the right thing. It’s going to be more difficult, the reading of the game for me will be different because now I have five players to put on the pitch, sometimes to change the game and sometimes to rest them. If I had problems making substitutions before, I’m going to have more now!

On Craig Gardner’s departure…
The only thing I can say to Craig, is thank you. Because when I came here, the Club proposed him as a coach because he had been part of the team here and I didn’t have any doubt in saying yet. Since I arrived here, on the first day, he was really helpful, and the main thing is after three months I can say that I have a very good friend in Craig. He helped me a lot and I just wanted to tell him good luck.

On bringing in another First Team Coach…
Not now. I don’t want to bring in just another body. I want to have someone like Craig. Someone who helps you, understands you and your staff. Someone who understands your style and methodology. So I’ll remain calm and if we feel we need to replace him we will, if not we will carry on.

Blues Team News:
Adam Clayton (ankle) and Zach Jeacock (ankle) remain unavailable. George Friend (calf), Kristian Pedersen (head), Jake Clarke-Salter (calf) and Josh McEachran (knee) are all passed fit.

Head-to-head...
Blues wins: 23
Draws: 17
Coventry wins: 17

Last five meetings between Blues and Coventry...
FA Cup 04 Feb 2020 - Blues 2 Coventry City 2 
FA Cup 25 Jan 2020 - Coventry City 0 Blues 0
League Cup 28 Aug 2012 - Coventry City 3 Blues 2 
Championship 10 Mar 2012 - Coventry City 1 Blues 1
Championship 13 Aug 2011 - Blues 1 Coventry City 0

BluesTV...
Due to this game being selected for broadcast by Sky Sports, only selected countries will be able to watch the game BluesTV. Audio commentary will be available as normal. Please click here for full details.

Match officials...
Referee – Oliver Langford
Assistant Referee 1 – Rob Smith
Assistant Referee 2 – James Wilson
Fourth Official – Geoff Eltringham

Share