Preview: Notts County

Where We Are

The news this week has been dominated by the supposed re-opening of talks over the Ricoh Arena. Apparently Joy Seppala has e-mailed Anne Lucas requesting a meeting to discuss ownership of the Ricoh Arena, after Anne Lucas stated that she was willing to consider selling the stadium to SISU. However knowing how both sides of the dispute act, having talks and reaching a deal are two disparate entities but still it’s progress compared to the months of stand-off between the two factions.

In other news Callum Wilson has agreed a new contract with the club, in theory keeping him here until the summer of 2015. Hopefully this will help others who have been offered similar deals to make the right decision and stay at the world’s greatest football club. For Wilson all he has to worry about now is breaking his goal-scoring drought, having failed to score in the last three games.

The Manset situation has seen no progress, he still remains lurking somewhere in the bowels of the club having failed to find a club to join on loan. The sounds from the training pitch are that Jamar Loza has been impressive, although still below the level of our starting strike partnership, we should expect to see him make a cameo in the next few games from the sounds of things. This means that there is no room for ex-Birmingham striker Jake Jervis in our squad after his trial ended last Friday without us offering him a permanent contract.

In team news for the match against Notts County, Jordan Willis and Billy Daniels are both officially out of the squad after having to undergo surgery for their respective knee and hernia problems. The return of Cyrus Christie is slightly too soon for a starting berth in the first XI today which means Aaron Phillips will continue after impressing against Walsall last week.

Finally today sees yet another opportunity for the side to win three league games in a row, something that hasn’t been done at the club for around 3 years. The last time Coventry have won four in a row was way back in the McAllister days, five in a row hasn’t been done since the 97-98 season. Just to put things in perspective.

Last Time We Met

Our last game against Notts County was on the final day of last season at Meadow Lane. Not many Coventry may have paid notice to a 2-2 draw which arguably laid the seeds for this year’s performances. Franck Moussa and John Fleck both scored as Coventry twice fell behind to set pieces from Notts.

In the corresponding home fixture just over a year ago, Notts County secured a relatively straightforward 2-1 win over a Coventry side in the nascent days of Mark Robins’s reign.

How Are They Doing?

Another season another managerial sacking at Notts County, the club is becoming something of a graveyard for managers after last month’s sacking of Chris Kiwomya. It’s becoming a big issue at the club that managers are struggling to succeed at the club with the chairman keeping an itchy finger over his managerial sacking trigger. Some might argue that the problem hasn’t been the sackings but the appointments made in the first place, for a club that aspires to challenging for promotion to the Championship their managerial history of the untried Kiwomya, Keith Curle, who mainly has been a League 2 manager, Martin Allen a relegation dogfighter and Paul Ince a man who relies on his coaching staff might say more about the leadership behind the scenes. At the moment County fans are not holding high hopes that the right man will be found this time around.

Notts County currently lie bottom of the table but have been putting in decent performances in recent weeks. They won their last game 3-2 under their caretaker manager Steve Hodge, who swapped shirts with Maradona in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final. They also were reportedly the better side as they lost to Preston last week in Kiwomya’s final game in charge.

The point is that Notts County aren’t a bad side but struggle to create too many chances. Looking at their squad and it’s at least good enough for lower mid-table and under the right manager could be challenging for the play-offs. For example, County fans feel that their goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski is one of the best in the league, although he’s susceptible to the odd blunder.

They have defenders such as ex-Sky Blue Dean Leacock, Mustapha Dumbuya and Alan Sheehan who’ve all been strong performers at this level. Their midfield containing Andre Boucaud, who scored at the Ricoh Arena last season, Mark Fotheringham, who played in the Bundesliga last season and serial Coventry-annoyer Jamal Campbell-Ryce could be hard to contain if they’re all in form. The star player for them this season is Callum McGregor, on loan from Celtic, and is a very skilful attacking midfielder who can either play on the left or in the centre. Up front they have the pacey Danny Haynes, the mercurial Yoann Arquin and the strong Enoch Showunmi who again have once-upon-a-time been top-half performers in this division.

Notts County are a side that possess a number of quality players and should be taken lightly at our own risk.


This afternoon is a landmark in that it’s the first game at Sixfields that Coventry have played at 3 o’clock on a Saturday and maybe that will provide it with a more genuine feeling atmosphere. After the Walsall and Leyton Orient wins confidence is high that we can make it 3 out of 3 and beat the side currently occupying the bottom position in the league. Once upon a moon people would be cautious and suggest that it would be typical Coventry to be underwhelming and fail to win this game. Under Pressley all my previous notion of what is and isn’t ‘Coventry’ to do are fast washing away and I don’t believe that it will be a lack of motivation that keeps them from winning this afternoon.

My prediction is for Coventry to go out and win 2-1.

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