Date: 30th November 2010 at 5:59pm
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Based on the bookmakers odd at the start of the season, Saturday’s trip to the Ricoh Arena for Middlesbrough should have been another triumphant step on the road to promotion for manager Gordon Strachan and his squad, heavily re-shaped in the summer ready for an assault on the top flight.

However the herald of December sees the Sky Blues in the play-off places and their opponents with just one team below them in the Championship.

‘Too good to go down’ is a mantra often used in football but Tony Mowbray, settling in to life as gaffer of the club he graced as a player, is all too aware of what ambitions are for the next 27 games.

Equally he feels that the likes of Kris Boyd and Barry Robson, recent additions from the Old Firm clubs in Scotland, are realistic sorts as well.

“I would like to think they know what sort of battle they face over the next few games,’ said Mowbray, quoted in the Northern Echo.

I don`t see that as a huge negative.

I`d like to think they are fully realistic now about the fact it`s going to be a tough 20- odd games and we have to be ready for it.

“The players have to know that is coming. It`s not going to be a season of silky soccer.’