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Down to the bare bones; THORN DRAFTS IN YOUNGSTERS Christie needs knee aoperation.

Byline: Andy Turner

ANDY Thorn has promised Coventry City's faithful that their team will run themselves into the ground for them as they look to secure three crucial points from the first of two make-or-break games at the Ricoh Arena.

And although the Sky Blues have been hit with more injuries ahead of tonight's clash with Millwall and Saturday's visit by relegated Doncaster Rovers to add to their seemingly never ending hard luck story, Thorn insists that whoever pulls on the shirt will give their all.

"The players are all up for it and whoever plays will give everything they have got - and we'll go all out and be brave to get a result," said the City boss, who revealed that several of his players who featured at Burnley are struggling with injuries, forcing him to draft four untried youngsters into the matchday squad.

"We had five train yesterday from the weekend and the rest are all touch and go. We just have to wait and see how everyone is today.

"The ones who didn't train are 50-50 but it looks as though two or three won't make it, but I'm hoping the other two or three will. They've been having treatment all weekend but they're not necessarily knocks, they are more tears and pulls and we can't really do a lot about that."

Chris Hussey (ankle), Sammy Clingan (Achilles), Gary McSheffrey (ankle) and Alex Nimely (hamstring) will have late fitness tests while Gary Deegan (hamstring) and defender Cyrus Christie are definitely ruled out, the latter of whom has been told he needs an operation to repair knee ligament damage suffered after his brief but effective substitute appearance at Turf Moor. As a result, Thorn has drafted in 17-year-old Academy striker Billy Daniels (pictured) - who has scored ten goals for the Under-18s - and full-back Aaron Phillips to join fellow defender Jordan Willis and first year professional and striker Shaun Jeffers, who could be making up the numbers on the bench. However, Carl Baker made a return to training yesterday and although not fully fit could be included among the subs. "That's why I have had all the young boys up training with us all season so they know what to do if called upon - and it looks like they will be called upon - so it's a chance for them to make a name for themselves," said Thorn, who is convinced that, yet again, the supporters will play their part in the next two games. "But whoever puts a Sky Blue shirt on tonight will run themselves into the ground for the supporters and the club, and themselves as a group.

"They all want to battle and that's half the battle when you have got players who want to perform. "We'll fill the boys with energy and give it a right good crack. The players need to show all the character and commitment they have shown in the last few games. We also need to show some quality and some cool heads and what will be will be." The club are offering supporters a 'Mates Rates' deal for tonight's game which means that as long as supporters buy a pair of tickets they will benefit from prices of pounds 15 for adults, pounds 10 for concessions and pounds 5 for under-16s. He added: "The support they have given us all season has been phenomenal and that's kept everyone going and we're desperate to repay their faith with some victories to stay in the league. "We want a good atmosphere because they have been a real boost for us and kept the boys going. We'll be going all out to win and we'll see what the other results are afterwards." Bristol, of course, entertain automatic promotion chasing West Ham tonight and a freak win for the Robins would severely hamper City's chances of avoiding the drop. But if Coventry beat Millwall and Bristol lose they will close the gap to a point with two games left to play.

CAPTION(S):

CROCKED: Cyrus Christie is helped off the pitch at Burnley by City physio Michael McBride.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 17, 2012
Words:683
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