Tomorrow night is the reverse fixture for the FA Cup First Round tie between Coventry City and Morecambe. In the original tie we got a 1-1 draw at The Globe Arena, we were lucky to even get that being completely honest, it was a dire performance. Even though we hit the bar we were completely dominated for most of the match. It took a Jamie Sterry 20 yard finesse shot in off the post for us to even get to this position at the Ricoh.
What makes it even more important for us to win tonight is due to the events of Saturday. We battered Scunthorpe but still managed to lose 1-0. It's much like what happened last season against Burton when we should have won but ended up losing thanks to 2 goals on the counter. We all know what happened from there on in, we collapsed due to poor confidence.
What I'm trying to say is, we don't want a repeat of that because a collapse this time would be a lot more drastic as we don't have the early form to sustain league position. So it's extremely important to not let it get to us and get back on track with wins, starting tomorrow and carrying on away at Oxford on Saturday. Adding to that I'd really like a cup run and the winner faces a trip to either Cambridge United or Dover Athletic, I fancy our chances against either.
Predicted Coventry City Side:
A strong side with a few players still rested, both centre backs need resting in my opinion, especially Turnbull as he looked tired on Saturday and got close to being sent off. Saying that he did put in a great performance so it works both ways. I'll be gutted if Haynes doesn't make it in, especially as Page is ineligible for selection. Our attack could ruin League 2 opposition, if we play that 3 then we have the perfect combination of pace and strength.
On the pitch Morecambe are doing pretty much bang average sitting in 14th, they are either doing well or poorly depending on which way you look at it, being 2 points off play offs but 4 off relegation. That could all change soon though as the news broke today that key player Tom Barkhuizen has cancelled his contract so that the players wages can be paid, I'll go into more detail in just a second.
Opposition Fans View
I spoke to Shrimps fan Jacob Swindlehurst to see what his take was on the match ahead as well as the off pitch antics going on at the club.
Me - "First things first, this is a replay of the original fixture. Did you go to the original game? If so, how do you think you fared against League One opposition such as ourselves?"
JS - "Yes I was there. I feel we played well all things considered e,g home form, players and staff wages not being paid. We started off strong with some good chances early on but didn't take them which was the underlying tone for the game, just not being able to take our chances. We then let you (Coventry) back into it and we had a good even game with both sides looking dangerous on the attack. I feel both teams could have won or lost and also I definitely didn't see the gap of League 1 and 2 in quality."
Me - "Personally I think you should have beaten us and we are lucky to even be in this position. You mentioned about staff/players wages not being paid. What exactly is happening behind the scenes for people who wouldn't usually know?"
JS - "It depends how you look at it, if you had said to me 'would you take a draw' before the game then I would have said 'I'll take anything less than a 2-0 loss' haha. Basically, we have new owners who recently purchased the club. We were told as fans there will be funds available to fund things such as transfers which we haven't had the luxury of having before so obviously everyone got 100% behind them. Then when the news came out that the players hadn't been paid it went all a bit crazy really on the fan forums and everybody seemed to get their pitchforks out straight away. Then news started to break that a player whom featured against you, Tom Barkhuizen, easily our best player was leaving by mutual consent and everybody went a little bit crazzier, we believe he is going to Preston, (The questions were asked before the news was confirmed) and they have paid us to terminate his contract so we could then use the extra money to pay our players and staff because legally after two weeks they an walk away so it was a kind of last ditch effort. The fans have not yet been told very much and it has been kept on the down low which is very worrying for us."
Me - "That does sound very worrying, but is there anyone that is unavailable through suspension or injury? Or who are your key players whom could be the difference between a loss and a win?"
JS - "There isn't anybody missing due to suspension or injury that I know of. The key player I would definitely say has to be Michael Rose, he is a centre midfielder who just controls the play, he just has that little bit of quality which Morecambe have needed for a while in the middle. He was out for a couple of games through suspension and we really did miss him, he really is a vital part of our team. Also Stockton on his day can be an absolute quality player but he is very inconsistent and the same goes for Barry Roche, our goalkeeper who can either be one of the best keepers in the league or also one of the worst"
Me - "Following on from that, is there anyone you know of from the Coventry side that you are "scared" of facing?
JS - "I wouldn't necessarily say scared of but Sordell on his day can be a quality player"
Me - "Do you have any betting tips for Tuesday? (First Goalscorer, Over/Under goals etc.) "
JS - "Depending on what team we set out, personally I'd say it's got to be Cole Stockton (First Goalscorer) or as the players call him 'Cole the goal' "
Me - "What would be your score prediction, do you see it going to Extra Time and potentially further?"
JS - "I would say we are either going to either lose 2-1 or draw, take it to extra time and win it. We did a similar thing in a game against Rotherham early in the season"
From the Morecambe point of view Cole Stockton is going to be first goalscorer which on Ladbrokes is priced at 8/1 (£2 returns £18)
My sensible pick for the bet is Kyel Reid for first goalscorer at 13/2, as we saw at Gillingham away, he has the ability to pull it out of the bag when needed. (£2 returns £15)
My slightly less sensible bet is in keeping with my first bet as well as my score prediction, so if it comes in I'll rake in the make-believe money. Kyel Reid to score first, Coventry to win 2-0 at 33/1. (£2 returns £66)
My prediction as I've just said is a 2-0 victory with Reid and Sordell to get the goals. Jacob as I've also said thinks that it will be a 1-1 and Morecambe to win in ET or 2-1 Coventry.
Finally look out for my report tomorrow night after the match when we will have hopefully secured a Second Round tie.