Tomorrow sees the Sky Blues travel to Deepdale to take on high-flying Preston North End who enjoyed a 3-1 away win versus Sheffield United in the FA Cup midweek. Last seasons trip up north was a memorable one for me and many other Cov fans, it wasn’t that the game was great, but Moussa’s goal was an absolute scorcher… Oh, and it was in the 97th minute to salvage a hard earned away point.
Preston are a team I admire greatly – they’re organised, technically a good side and more than able to bully teams physically in this division; for me they are only a player or two off being the best side in League One. Despite this, they’ve struggled recently and have won only once in their last 6 league games, this coming back on Boxing Day as they defeated Barnsley 1-0. They have however been without talisman Joe Garner for a fair period of time, but it could be bad news for a City as he could return to league action tomorrow after his brief appearance off the bench against Sheffield United.
We on the other hand, have more bad news in terms of injuries as Reda Johnson has been ruled out for another month due to a small hamstring tear. This will most likely pave the way for a Ryan Haynes start, or possibly a Matthew Pennington comeback as he returns from injury himself. The new signings will also be thrown in to the mix and this will leave Pressley with a selection headache further up the pitch (something we haven’t had all season). Dominic Samuel and Sanmi Odelusi definitely got bums off seat last weekend, and Frank Nouble had one of his best games for a long while… I just don’t know who I’d start.
Anyway, regardless of what team is out on the pitch at 3pm tomorrow, we need to travelling home with 3 points if possible and 1 point at the very least. As I keep saying, we are clearly perched at the wrong end of the table, and with Yeovil entertaining Crawley at Huish park and Colchester hosting Crewe, at least two of the teams below us are guaranteed to pick up points… Which means we need to too! I know Preston are 4th in the league but we’ve got to forget that, we need a positive result and a loss would pull us closer and closer to the bottom.
It will no doubt be a very tough game, and the Lillywhites proved they were a very good side when they played us off the park at the Ricoh earlier in the season. But with our January transfer dealings I feel a lot more confident of getting a result tomorrow, and with added pace to the side I now see goals coming (at last) which we have sincerely lacked with players we lost proving to be irreplaceable. The physical challenge is going to be another key factor, and our defence has to be wary of this and strong enough to cope with the presence of players like Kevin Davies, Joe Garner and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. The midfield battle will also be huge in this game, and I can only think that the deal for a holding midfielder that broke down could come to bite us on the arse… We need someone to take control of the game in there, after all, the last few games our midfield has been poor.
I just hope it’s a positive result tomorrow… I’ve said this about the last few games but it’s the same here, it’s a real six pointer! Here’s hoping! I also want Lee Burge to take his chance to redeem himself after most fans haven’t forgiven him for his dismissal against Worcester… His form could be the decider between a loss and a draw/win!
See you tomorrow! PUSB