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Dateline: FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2017

 
 

Form Guide - last 8 games

1

2

3

4

5

COVENTRY (home games only)

GILLINGHAM (away games only)

L

W

L

L

L

D

D

W

L

L

L

7

L

D

8

W

D

W

Coventry sacked Tony Mowbray after an abysmal start to the campaign that left them in the bottom four and Russell Slade took over in late December. His first game in charge was a 4–1 Boxing Day defeat to Bristol Rovers and their league performance has not improved as they are now rock bottom of the table.


A last minute equaliser by Wimbledon last time out has meant that Russell Slade had equalled a Coventry City unwanted record of nine games without a win at the start of his tenure as Coventry City manager.


The last home league game Coventry won was 1-0 against Chesterfield on 1 November 2016. Russell Slade has won some success for City during February when Coventry reached the Final of the EFL Trophy, after beating Wycombe Wanderers in the semi-final at the Ricoh Arena.

Gills and Coventry have played each other 51 times in total since the 1926/27 season when Gills won both games in the Third Division (South). Most of the games between the two have been in Division Three (South) although there were two games in the Championship during 2004/05 when Gills won 3-1 at Priestfield and drew 2-2 away.


In the 2014/15 season Gills lost by the single goal at the Ricoh Arena - the first game back at that venue for the Sky Blues. In the following 2015/16 season it was first against second and Coventry won again, thumping Gills 4-1 and going above them to top the table. The return fixture at Priestfield was in early April when both teams had dropped down the league, out of promotion contention, and failed to reach the Play-offs. Coventry finished the season in 8th and Gills 9th with both teams on 69 points.


Earlier this campaign, last September with Coventry in the bottom spot, Gills won 2-1 at Priestfield with goals from Max Ehmer and Billy Knott after Coventry had taken the lead.

GILLS v COVENTRY CITY - Head to Head Record . . .

GILLS WINS 16 - COVENTRY CITY WINS 24 - DRAWS 11

Gills Team News

The pressure is now building with Gills wasting the golden opportunity of pulling clear of the relegation zone with two home games netting just two points out of six.


With another massive game against bottom club Coventry Pennock said, “We all know the situation. It’s another big game at Coventry, and they’re getting bigger and bigger. I’m sure we’ll get out of trouble sooner rather than later.”


Bournemouth loan striker Joe Quigley could be available for the substitutes bench and has been training at Priestfield for the first time since signing in the transfer window.


Pennock has no new injury worries but does have problems with Gills still conceding goals that put obvious pressure on the rest of the team. With just two clean sheets all season, in all competitions, Pennock has to find a tactical way, as a team, to stop the rot.


Pennock observed, “We concede every week, so the best way to defend is attack. We opened them up a few times and could have been out of sight by half time.They’ve got to pick themselves up and if they play like that from now to the end of the season I’ll be pleased.”


The defence will probably stay as the Spireites line-up, with Bradley Garmston keeping his place. The midfield has been reasonable and productive but new striker Josh Parker could get his first start replacing McDonald who possibly needs a rest and used as an impact substitute.  


Gills probable starting line-up: Stuart Nelson, Bradley Garmston, Ryan Jackson, Max Ehmer, Deji Oshilaja, Scott Wagstaff, Bradley Dack, Josh Parker, Rory Donnelly, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Josh Wright.


Gills substitutes from: Tomáš Holý, Lee Martin, Chris Herd, Elliott List, Emmanuel Osadebe,, Mitchell Dickenson, Joe Quigley, Mark Byrne, Jake Hessenthaler and Paul Konchesky.

It looks like an impossible task for manager Russell Slade to rescue Coventry City from the League Two trap door but with fifteen matches left to play anything is possible. If there is to be a great escape then it will have to start against a stuttering Gills who have not won in nine league games and away since last November.


Slade will probably stick with the same line-up that very nearly pulled off a win at Wimbledon. After a goalless first half Coventry looked to be heading to a first win in 15 league matches thanks to Jodi Jones strike (pictured below)  – only a stoppage-time goal denied Coventry a priceless victory.


The Coventry team was: Burge, Kelly-Evans, Rawson, N. Clarke, Turnbull, Foley, G Thomas, Reilly, Rose, Thomas and Tudgay. Substitutes: Bigirimana, Lameiras, Jones, Reid, Yakubu, Charles-Cook and Haynes.


Nigerian international and former Premier League player Yakubu enjoyed a 30-minute cameo as a substitute and his arrival at the Ricoh Arena is set to be followed by more free agents signed by boss Russell Slade.


Former Manchester United and free agent winger Kieran Richardson could be signing until the end of the season. Should the former England international Richardson agree a deal then he could make his debut for the Sky Blues against the Gills.

Coventry City Team News

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