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Football: Dowie faces stiff test of his creation; COCA-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP.

Byline: By Brian Dick

The man who created the already hackneyed concept of bouncebackability must inspire his Coventry City team to do exactly that when Crystal Palace come calling this afternoon.

Iain Dowie was in charge of Palace when he coined the phrase that has become the cliche of choice of rather too many managers and having watched his side turn out what he believed to be their worst display of the season last weekend, he goes into today's game knowing there needs to be a big change.

But in losing 4-0 to Blackpool, Coventry were not just poor, they were recklessly felonious too. Kevin Kyle was sent off, David McNamee should have been but escaped with a caution and Jay Tabb, Michael Doyle and Leon Best all joined the Scot in the referee's notebook.

Add to that some slipshod defending and Dowie knows his motivational qualities will be well tested against a team that has gone ten games unbeaten under the stewardship of Neil Warnock. The former Sheffield United man will name the same side for the fourth match in succession and can call on the services of the rejuvenated Clinton Morrison who has scored eight times in his last nine games.

All of which points to a difficult afternoon for a Coventry team that was abject at Bloomfield Road. "We had great periods of possession but every time we got anywhere near we conceded. They were poor goals to give away," Dowie said.

"A set piece, ball down the middle, a penalty and then trying to do a trick on the edge of the box at 3-0 down. It's crazy defending and a lack of discipline."

Although Coventry are unhappy with the part played by Shaun Barker in the incident that saw Kyle dismissed, it is likely they will be without the striker and Leon Best who came off injured. Leon McKenzie will aim to be fit to replace either one.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 26, 2007
Words:323
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