Back to it, then. Having had an unexpected away win at Bournemouth somewhat spoiled by yet more finance and embargo concerns, we can (for an afternoon at least) divert our focus back to the reason why we’re all connected to this team in the first place; the football.
Will this be the week we finally get it right at home? Things may be sounding pretty dreadful off the field, but I’ve noticed a lot of voices claiming it’d be just like us to turn up and win today, in some sort of symbolic gesture of defiance.
Well I love the confidence, although I’m not sure they’ve thought this “just like us” attribute through. They say it’d be typical of us to make it to Wembley, having messed up in the JPT. That it’d be just like Coventry to go on a storming run till the end of the season, then blow it on the final day or something.
Hmm. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure we’ve been watching the same team over the last 20 years if those scenarios and achievements constitute typical Coventry. Collapsing over the line in some sort of metaphorical heap? Now that sounds about right for your stereotypical modern-day us.
Of course I get where everyone’s coming from. Pulling out completely illogical performances – clearly that is our bag. This year’s home form has been pitiful and most teams probably feel like they can pinch a win from us at the Ricoh as soon as they look at the fixture.
But even given all the inherent uselessness at home, we’ve just beaten pretty much the best home team in the league. We’ve disturbed the home formbook once already this week; if that doesn’t give us the confidence to put an end to the turmoil at our own gaff, there’s little else that can.
How are they getting on?
Swindon are in 4th place, 3 points off top and 6 points ahead of us. Given the tightness of all the teams at the top of the league, we actually have ourselves a genuine (said with an emphasis on the ‘ine’ – just for a laugh) six-pointer*.
They’ve been through their own turmoil off the pitch just lately, but it hasn’t seemed to have a massive influence over their results, judging by their defeat on Tuesday being only their first in 13 games. They’ve been around about the top 6 all season, and while Di Canio has now buggered off and they’ve finally brought in their new boss Kevin MacDonald, it’s a team very much preparing for the final push.
We managed a 2-2 draw with them in the reverse fixture, right at the start of our turnaround under Robins. It was an entertaining game, with some real moments of quality from both teams.
Actually, now I reflect, it gives me no pleasure to inform you that they’re probably the best side I’ve seen all season. Damn it.
*After all that, it’s not actually a genuine six-pointer.
Who could cause us trouble?
Local lad James Collins – who was a well-documented target of ours in the summer – is the player who generates the most intrigue. He came off the bench in the away game to turn the match in Swindon’s favour, and even managed to antagonise a lot of the sky blue army with his overzealous celebrations. As it transpired, that was an apparent outpouring of emotion in honour of a lost friend, so there shouldn’t really be any hard feelings.
Forgetting all that though, with 15 goals to his name this season, he’s most certainly a noteworthy threat.
Sky Blues team news
We’re promised some changes in an attempt to fix our Ricoh naffness. Some enforced, with no Wood, Adams and now Stephen Elliott – who has picked up a nasty sounding knee injury. There may also be some changes I assume will form part of their strategy for fixing whatever ridiculous issue is causing us to be so impotent at home.
Franck Moussa and James Bailey both impressed during the week, while David Bell finally made a return to the team, having a useful impact on the game. For match-fitness reasons, you’d imagine the Bellmeister will find himself on the bench again, but I certainly expect to see him on the pitch at some point.
It’s also worth acknowledging the arrival of left-sided free transfer Jordan Stewart, who has joined us in the nick of time before we’re hit with another transfer embargo. Either this is contingency to offer some protection if Dickinson has to return to Watford, or maybe Carsley simply doesn’t fancy Carl, in much the same way that Robins soon came to realise Jamie Reckord wasn’t the guy for him.
Personally,I’ve not been massively impressed, and I think we’ve certainly lost some balance in our attacking phases as Dickinson has limited influence down that left. He has however been part of a team that’s kept 3 clean sheets in 4, so it’s hard to be too critical of his place in the team.
There’s a hell of a lot hanging over the club at the moment, with the embargo and Tim Fisher’s subsequent comments clearly raising the stakes with regards to the stadium issues and the club’s general solvency. Realistically, it’s the lack of a manager and adequately staffed coaching team which is likely to have the biggest effect of the team performance, though.
Swindon have just brought in their new guy having spent the last couple of weeks being steered by two of their senior players. That should provide them with a boost. Meanwhile, we’re told to expect a decision on our own boss in the next 7-10 days. That feels a little excessive to whittle down just 4 candidates, don’t you think?
Strangely, I think we’ll find a way of winning at home again. The result in midweek was so good, and the idea of drastically changing things around for this game might at least create an illusion in the players’ minds of breaking the nasty Ricoh habit. It takes just one thing to click into place to have a huge influence mentally. I reckon we might even manage a 2 or 3-1 victory, if you can believe it.