15th Dec, 2018

BREAKING: Virus hits Coventry City ahead of promotion clash, Robins reveals

Les Reid 9th Feb, 2018 Updated: 9th Feb, 2018

A “virus” had hit the Coventry City team going into tomorrow’s important home fixture with promotion rivals Acrrington Stanley in front of a bumper crowd.

Team boss Mark Robins revealed the potential blow this morning at the Ryton training ground.

He said: “A virus going round has been an issue this week. Today we’ll have to count numbers and see if everybody’s okay.

“There are some that are still suffering and won’t be involved tomorrow.”

Robins also said he had watched Acrrington’s 2-1 home win on Tuesday against fellow promotion contenders Swindon and had been impressed.

“There are a capable team. They have a way of playing that’s effective. They will eek every little bit out of every game. They’re a wily group of players.”

He praised the club and fans for releasing 27,000 tickets for tomorrow’s match at the Ricoh Arena, 14,000 free to schoolchildren to bolster the average 8,000 attendance this season.

He added: “Some clubs have tried different methods of attracting supporters and reducing tickets, and have had good success.

“This is a great initiative. It’s over to the players now and we have to make sure they have a good time.

“Nothing changes for us though. It’s just a good atmosphere in the stadium. That’s what we and I have been asking for.

“Regardless, it’s tremendous backing again from the supporters.”

Recent games have seen changes in the midfield with the returning defensive central midfielder Liam Kelly playing alongside Michael Doyle, shifting young Tom Bayliss to the right.

Some supporters have argued it has upset a winning team in which Bayliss’s central role has been instrumental.

Robins today maintained the 18-year-old was capable of playing on the right or a role in a diamond formation. He would not be drawn further on team selection, adding: “There are places up for grabs and that’s good. It should provide competition.”

Defenders Tom Davies (broken collar bone), Chris Stokes (hamstring) and Jack Grimmer (hamstring) are all out after sustaining injuries during the disappointing 2-1 defeat at Forest Green Rovers last week.

New recruit Johnson Clarke-Harris and loan returnee Kyel Reid are fighting for contention, said Robins, after playing for the under-23s this week, with Reid scoring. “They were both fighting for the goal,” added Robins.

While the Sky Blues have won seven games at home on the bounce, Robins admitted away performances had affected the club’s promotion hopes in terms of league standing. He added: “If we’d won two of those away we’d be up there.

“There’s plenty of time to put that right. There are certain things we can improve on. Our set-play record has been horrendous. We have capable players with decent delivery but we haven’t shown that enough.”

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