Coventry City will play their first ever Johnstone’s Paint Trophy match tonight as they take on League Two side Burton Albion at The Ricoh Arena. Still under the stewardship of caretaker manager Richard Shaw following the sacking of Andy Thorn at the start of last week, the Sky Blues will be looking for their second cup win in a week at The Ricoh, at the same time as bouncing back from a very disappointing result at Crewe in their last outing.
Should the scores be level after 90 minutes, unlike the victory over Birmingham last Tuesday, extra time will not be needed, as JPT ties go straight to penalties; something Shaw can take a little bit of heart from knowing that his squad has played extra time already this week.
The 43-year-old admits that he has mixed feelings about a game that offers a realistic chance for a day out at Wembley.
“That will certainly in the back of the club’s mind,” he said, “and if you look at previous winners of this competition, like Southampton, it can give teams a kick-start. But in the earlier stages, if truth be told, it’s a bit of a hindrance.”
“Sometimes when you’ve lost the best thing is to get straight out there to rectify it but, as I said before the Birmingham game, I’d love to have a clear week to do some work on the training ground, take a bit of time to instil our values, explain what we want to be doing.”
“But the games come thick and fast at this time of year and this is in the calendar so we’ll have to deal with it.”
Caretaker manager Richard Shaw is set to make changes, however JPT rules state that six players in the starting lineup must also have started their last game or six players who have started the most games so far this season. Whilst City’s team will be strong, Shaw is likely to shuffle the attack by bringing in on-loan due David McGoldrick and Callum Ball for Cody McDonald and Steven Elliott.
Richard Wood, who returned from injury to be named a substitute against Crewe could also find himself back in the starting eleven as he bids to step up his recovery.
Midfielder John Fleck continues to recover from a hamstring strain he picked up two weeks ago and looks set to miss out, along with Conor Thomas who has an ankle injury and David Bell who is out with a hip problem.
One player is who absent is Adam Barton, who is on international duty with the Republic of Ireland Under 21s.
Burton manager Gary Rowett has hinted he will make changes for his side’s trip to The Ricoh.
“I can understand why the rules [six players from last game, or six with most starts] are there – you don’t want clubs putting out just any 11. But it took me about an hour to work out who we could and couldn’t play.”
“It doesn’t give me the chance to give everyone a run-out who I’d like to, nor to rest as many as I’d like to, so I’m still trying to decide who to actually play.”
The Brewers boss could rest striker Calvin Zola though, with Billy Kee likely to be his replacement.
Defenders Andy Corbett, Aaron Webster and Nathan Stanton and midfielder Jack Dyer are also options for Rowett.
Rowett said ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to The Ricoh: “I am more concerned about Rochdale away in the league on Saturday because that is a big game for us.”
It is understood no players have played for both Coventry City and Burton Albion.
OVERALL (ALL COMPETITIONS)
Coventry City: 0
Burton Albion: 0
Last time we met:
This is the first meeting between Coventry City & Burton Albion