We welcome Leyton Orient to the Ricoh Arena tonight on April fool’s day, let’s just hope we don’t look as foolish as we did in our last home fixture against Doncaster. The last time we faced the O’s it ended in a 2-2 draw at Brisbane Road, with a late Jim O’Brien equaliser salvaging the Sky Blues a point. Tonight we’ll be looking for all three in what is a huge game, but can we finally get our first home win under Mowbray?
Both sides will be confident going in to the game after picking up wins at the weekend. Orient sit 22nd and in the relegation places, but this game is absolutely massive in City’s battle for survival. The London-based side are only 4 points below the Sky Blues with a game in hand. A point would be seen as an ok result but three would go a long way to securing our League One status for next term.
Make no bones about it, the game on Saturday wasn’t a thriller but what pleased me the most about it was our defensive display. If we could take that side of our game from Peterborough away, and add our attacking prowess that was on display in the reverse fixture versus them at the Ricoh then who knows? We have shown we are better than a bottom four side, so tonight’s another chance to prove this… Let’s hope Mowbray gets his first home victory.
The Sky Blues are in surprisingly good form as they lie 8th in the form table after three consecutive away wins. We’ve drawn one and lost two in our last three home games. This leaves us with an overall 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses from the last six games, an accumulation of 10 points from a possible 18. We’ve just got to rectify our home hoodoo.
Leyton Orient come in to the fixture with 2 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses from their last six. The wins came against Yeovil and Port Vale, they earned a point against in-form Barnsley but they fell to defeat against Bristol City, Peterborough and Crawley. This amounts to 7 points that have allowed them to stay in touch with the teams above them. Clearly they will be buoyed by their home win over Vale on Saturday but they have lost their last two away fixtures, this should give City some optimism.
Coventry City will still be without Reda Johnson as Tony Mowbray said he wants the defender to be fully fit before he considers selecting him. James Maddison is also back in to contention after returning to action for the Under 21’s where he played over an hour versus Ipswich Town, he remains unlikely to be rushed back too quickly though as Mowbray stated “Wednesday’s game will come too soon for him.”
The Sky Blues are also likely to be without Marcus Tudgay as the frontman was forced off in the first half at Peterborough with a reoccurrence of his hamstring injury. Simeon Jackson was representing Canada on Tuesday and is also a doubt for tonight’s game, but he may well be on the bench. The rest of the squad remains as it was and Mowbray has a largely fit squad to choose from as he looks for a vital three points.
Leyton Orient will still be without Jobi McAnuff and Ryan Hedges who are on international duty for Jamaica and Wales Under 21’s respectively. Romain Vincelot will also be missing as he is sidelined with a knee injury along with goalkeeper Adam Legzdins who continues to have problems with his shoulder.
Lloyd James made a return versus Port Vale on Saturday though as he came off the bench. The Midfielder suffered a broken leg back in September but after making his awaited comeback after six months, he could be involved again tonight.
It’s clear for everyone to see that tonight’s game means a hell of a lot to both teams. A win for Orient would suck a few teams back in to the mix, and a win for us would pull us in to a much better position. It’s effectively a six-pointer tonight and the team who wants it more will leave with the points.
As I said earlier on, if we bring all aspects to our performance then there is absolutely no reason why we can’t get a win. I fully believe we are a better team than Leyton Orient, there’s no better time to shake off our awful home form. A win would be absolutely vital and I’m very confident we will get it. I’m not saying it will be an easy ride, no game is, but I think we have enough in our ranks to get past the O’s. I’m not saying they are pushovers by any means either. we can’t get carried away. We are 17th in the third tier of English football and they are only 4 points behind us, we’re there for a reason. Mowbray has reinstated some confidence in to me though and he is, in my opinion, starting to show that the squad we have were much more capable than what they showed under Pressley.
I expect the game to be another scrappy one tonight with the Ricoh surface similar to that at London Road on Saturday. It won’t be conductive to beautiful flowing football, but as long as we get a result then who cares at this stage?
My prediction for tonight’s game is Coventry City 2-1 Leyton Orient