Coventry City can move up to as high as 7th in the Championship on Monday night with a win against a Stoke City side who, although inconsistent over the past few weeks have notched up some spectacular wins, including a 4-0 at Leeds and a 5-0 at home to Norwich.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis: ‘The Championship is such a competitive league and a lot of games are so thinly divided. What people have got to realise is that teams are so close and evenly matched.
‘Just having the run of the ball can be the difference between a team at the top beating one at the bottom and vice-versa.
‘As a manager you’ve got to be strong enough to take the flak and accept you’re a target for everybody.
‘Micky (Adams) is an experienced manager who’s been round the block a few times, so he will dig in and come through it.
‘Steve Bruce was recently taking a hell of a lot of flak, but he wins four on the bounce and that shuts everyone up.’
Sky Blues assistant manager Adrian Heath: ‘We don’t feel we have had enough quality in to the forwards from good crosses and through balls and Stern John is the only one looking like he is able to conjure something.
‘The longer it goes the more effect it will have on the strikers’ confidence and belief, so we really need to start to get going with a few goals.’
Stoke City Team News:
Danny Higginbotham is Stoke’s major doubt with a hamstring injury
Player to watch: Lee Hendrie
The on-loan Aston Villa midfielder has helped turn Soke’s season around in recent weeks and will be looking to impress his parent club again on Monday night.
Coventry City Team News:
Stephen Hughes and Dele Adebola facce late tests after a broken nose and a bout of concussion respectively. Kevin Kyle is also a doubt.
‘Hughesy is still getting headaches so we will have to see how he is and Dele had a bang on the head but we think he will be OK because his head is a lot harder than Hughesy’s,’ said Adrian Heath.
Player to watch: Don Hutchison
The veteran may get a rare start in this one, with assistant manager Adrian Heath saying: ‘He has got terrific quality on the ball and what we have to work out is whether we are better starting him off when the game is 100 miles an hour or bring him on when all the intensity and pace has gone out of the game, but that’s a decision for the manager.
‘It also depends on the opposition and tonight we face Stoke who are very physical and athletic.’
Match Facts & Stats
Dele Adebola’s late goal gave the Sky Blues all three points at the Britannia in April.
Stoke have lost only one of their seven home league games this season.
The Sky Blues are at home to Derby County on Saturday while Stoke travel to Crystal Palace.