20th Sep, 2018

Russell Slade - players must continue fighting for the club and their futures

Steve Carpenter 3rd Mar, 2017 Updated: 3rd Mar, 2017

FOOTBALL: RELEGATION may well be a foregone conclusion for the Sky Blues, but manager Russell Slade insists his players will be giving it their all, with some fighting for their careers come the end of the season.

Many fans are now resigned to the harsh reality that the Sky Blues will drop into the bottom tier of English football despite there being 14 league games remaining.

With the likes of Lee Burge, Ryan Haynes, Gael Bigirimana, Andy Rose and Ruben Lameiras out of contract this summer, Slade has warned his players that they are not only fighting for the club, but also for their future too.

“If we go down it’ll have an affect on some more than others,” Slade told the Observer. “What do we want to see now? We want to see the fight in some of them.

“They’re fighting for their careers, they’re fighting for their families now – we all are. You want to see what they’re made of because it will affect their futures.

“There are some positive ones like George Thomas who although he only played half a game against Bury, he’s started almost every game for me.

“There are positive ones in there that are out of contract and they need to be looked at and offered. I hope I have a serious impact on that.”

Slade turns his focus to Shrewsbury Town this Saturday where the Sky Blues will be hoping to restore some pride having not won away from home in the league since a 2-0 victory over Port Vale at the beginning of October.

Shrewsbury will provide another tough test at New Meadow having won six of their last nine matches and Slade knows every one of his players must be at the top of their game.

“We’re going up against another tough team in good form. That’s another thing that tends to happen when you’re down there.

“It is what it is. Nothing less than our very best is going to get us a result. We’ve got to be at our very best.

“There are no major injury concerns. We’ll see how Jordan Willis has come through that game on Tuesday and the same with Stuart Beavon. We’ll see how they react and give them every opportunity to recover.”

Slade is still trying to bolster his squad with the addition of a former Premier League striker.

The City boss confirmed that talks have taken place between the player’s representatives and the club, but no deal will be reached before Saturday’s clash.

It was also confirmed this week that the Sky Blues will take on Oxford United in the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley after they beat Luton Town in mid-week.

Slade added: “We’ve got ourselves to the final which is an achievement in itself, but nobody’s going to go to a final and not want to win. We’ll be doing everything to try and win.

“It’s going to be a great day out for the fans – it’s 30 years since we’ve been to Wembley – so there’s all of the nostalgia attached to that and the history attached to that, but we want to try and create a bit of history by trying to win it.

“It gives a little glimmer of hope in what has been a difficult period. It gives them something to look forward to, in what has been a bleak season.”

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