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Spoiled for choice! BIG MATCH PREVIEW.

Byline: ANDY TURNER andy.turner@coventrytelegraph.net

AN INSPIRED cameo performance in which a substitute scores to salvage a point and plays a key role in preventing the opposition snatching victory would, under normal circumstances, be reason enough to earn anyone a start in the next game.

But it's not as simple as that for right-back rivals Aaron Phillips and Jordan Willis, who possess very different strengths and skills and have excelled when called upon in Cyrus Christie's absence in the last three games.

Sky Blues boss Steven Pressley admits it's a selection headache of the more pleasant variety but his choice so far has been based more on tactics rather than outright merit.

The manager likes one of his fullbacks to get forward and one to sit, with Christie the obvious threat bombing down the right and Blair Adams providing stability on the opposite flank.

But the emphasis has switched since Christie's injury, with Adams now being encouraged to attack and the replacement right-back to hold his position. And with Willis being a centre-half by trade, Pressley has picked him ahead of the more forward-thinking Phillips.

"I've always had a decision to make because I rate the kid really highly; he's a terrific boy with a tremendous attitude," said the manager of Saturday's goal hero Phillips.

"Although Aaron gained the headlines at the weekend we can't forget the excellent 75-80 minutes Jordan gave us.

"We gave him the responsibility to nullify Bakary Sako's threat and he did that brilliantly, so both players have given me problems but it's a great problem for a manager to have."

Willis and Phillips have come up through the Academy ranks in the same age group and are clearly good mates as well as friendly rivals.

"When I was a first-year scholar we both played right-back and were in the same situation as now, but back then I would play one week and Aaron the next," said Coventry-born Willis.

"Then I moved to centre-half and we played alongside each other. But we are two different types of defenders.

With me being a centre-half I am more of a disciplined right-back while he likes to bomb forward and it's good because it's keeping us both on our toes."

Although disappointed to go off with cramp again, Willis was delighted for Phillips.

"It was a great finish; a bit like Adnan Januzaj's for Man United the other week," said the 19-year-old.

"He's done well every time he's gone on and it's good competition for me, but we're pushing each other all the way.

"We all want Cyrus to be back fit and playing again but I'm enjoying my spell while it lasts and it's great that the manager has faith in young players to do a job."

As for his personal challenge at Wolves at the weekend when he was asked to keep tabs on Sako, he said: "I watched a few clips of him prior to the game to see how he plays. I knew he was physical and quick and likes going down the outside, so me and Carl Baker worked on keeping him going down the outside and as soon as he took his touch I tried to be there.

"Hopefully that worked because I felt we stopped him making a big impact on the game. But everyone put in a good shift and we did well to stop them scoring."

Willis may well be tasked with a similar job tonight in stopping the quick and tricky Leyton Orient winger Moses Odubajo, while the incentive to win is there for all to see.

"No-one has beaten them in the league yet so that's a massive incentive for us because we want to be the first team to do it," said the young defender.

"We showed we could get a draw out of them the other week in the 90 minutes of the JPT so there's no reason why we can't beat them.

"We both play similar games of pressure from the front and hopefully we can stop them doing what they like doing and knock in a few goals ourselves."

THE BOOT ROOM Hello chap - you're looking a mite peaky this morning.

Nice of you to notice; yes I had to call out the quack over the weekend. Crikey, you must have friends in very high medical places. What's the problem? I've got a severe case of ochlophobia. Oh dear, I am sorry. Did he give you some ointment for that? No, you fool, it's a mental thing.

Ochlophobia - or demophobia as it's known in some circles. Fear of crowds.

But you're a people person, famous as a party animal. What on earth brought that on, then? Well, as far as we can tell, it was that trip to Molineux on Saturday - 23,000 people crammed into a relatively confined space all shouting and bawling. The doc reckons I had a bit of a delayed panic attack.

So what did he recommend - some time off work, I expect.

On the contrary. He says the best thing for me is to spend a couple of days in the office.

Well, yes, I suppose you'll get plenty of peace and quiet there.

Precisely, It's at times like this when one can only thank those nice folks at head office for their forwardthinking rationalisation policy. Quite - and to think that some people put it down to cost-cutting.

Cynicism is a terrible thing; we all know that less is more.

And what comes after that? Well, the old trick-cyclist reckons that a good next step would be to go somewhere where there's a crowd - only a small one, mind, with plenty of quiet corners for me to retreat to if I take another funny turn. And, by happy coincidence.. ...way ahead of you, chum. 606Fields tonight - part three in the ongoing saga I like to call 'if it's midweek, and we're playing football, it must be Leyton Orient. Again!' Yep, a few hundred hardy souls sprinkled round the ground - and that's assuming our Cockney chums turn out in force which is by no means guaranteed because they must be getting a bit blase by this stage and a soggy Tuesday in Northampton isn't exactly a mouth-watering prospect. It certainly won't be Cum On Feel The Noize, will it? Lol!

Sorry? Take Me Bak 'Ome You've lost me. Again! Wolverhampton's finest... Robert Plant? Well no, Slade, actually. And why the sudden interest in ageing glam rockers? Mark of respect to Russell , who's doing such a cracking job for the O's. Fair enough - but Pressley's bonny boys will put one over them tonight. We're due a win because we was robbed in the Capital One Cup... ...Bakes sent off when a triggerhappy ref was fooled by some French theatrics ...

...exactly, and we were dead unlucky in the JPT, though I still reckon the lads threw that one so they could concentrate on the league... ...my thoughts exactly. And now it's your proper points-mean-prizes action, we'll send them back to The Smoke pondering their first league defeat of the season.

Loving those positive vibes, but are you sure you're up to it.

Well, I'm taking some sedatives to control my achluophobia... ..come again...

..fear of the dark. And I've bought one of those head-band torches from my friendly local garage so I'll be able to see what I'm writing in that death-trap of a press-box. Sound move. You know, I remember the days when you would have been able to claim for that on your expenses but then I am considerably older than I look.

Well that's gerascophobia for you.

I've got some pills for that...

THE LAST TIME TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2013 JOHNSTONE'S PAINT TROPHY LEYTON ORIENT ..............0 COVENTRY CITY ........0 ?Leyton Orient win 4-2 on penalties) LEYTON ORIENT (4-4-2): Jamie Jones; Gary Sawyer, Scott Cuthbert, Nathan Clarke, Elliot Omozusi; Moses Odubajo, Romain Vincelot, Lloyd James, Yohann Lasimant (73 mins, Dean Cox); Shaun Batt (65 mins, David Mooney), Jayden Stockley (83 mins, Marvin Bartley). Substitutes not used: Jake Larkins (goalkeeper), Harry Lee.

COVENTRY (4-4-2): Joe Murphy; Jordan Willis (65 mins, Aaron Phillips), Andy Webster, Jordan Clarke, Blair Adams; Franck Moussa, Connor Thomas, John Fleck, Adam Barton (73 mins, Billy Daniels); Leon Clarke, Callum Wilson.

Substitutes not used: Lee Burge (goalkeeper), Ryan Haynes, Mathieu Manset.

Attendance: 2,151 Yellow cards: Cuthbert, Fleck, Wilson. Overall: Coventry 20, Orient 12, draws 14.

MAN IN BLACK JAMES ADCOCK (Nottinghamshire) NEAR enough this time last year, Mr Adock was at The Ricoh Arena to watch David McGoldrick's 61st-minute strike secure a 1-0 win against Bournemouth.

On Saturday he was just down the road for Leicester's 2-1 win against Mark Robins's Huddersfield, sending off visiting striker James Vaughan in the closing minutes.

THE SQUADS SKY BLUES Last time out (4-4-2): Joe Murphy; Jordan Willis (82 mins, Aaron Phillips), Andy Webster, Jordan Clarke, Blair Adams; Carl Baker, Conor Thomas, John Fleck, Franck Moussa (79 mins, Mathieu Manset); Leon Clarke, Callum Wilson. Substitutes not used: Lee Burge (goalkeeper), Ryan Haynes, Louis Garner, Adam Barton, Lewis Rankin. Injured: Cyrus Christie, Billy Daniels.

LEYTON ORIENT Last time out (4-4-2): Jamie Jones; Elliott Omozusi, Mathieu Baudry, Nathan Clarke, Scott Cuthbert; Dean Cox, Romain Vincelot, Lloyd James, Moses Odubajo (81 mins, Yohann Lasimant); Mooney (85 mins, Jayden Stockley), Kevin Lisbie (72 mins, Shaun Batt). Substitutes not used: Jake Larkins (goalkeeper), Gary Sawyer, John Gorman, Marvin Bartley.

FANS ASK Chris Deez asked: "Are we still looking at bringing in more pace to the team in January? Zavon Hines has been fantastic for Dagenham, why didn't he get offered a contract while we had him on trial ?" Steven Pressley answered: "As things stand I'm not looking to bring in a lot of players but, yes, I would like to bolster the squad in January and pace is definitely one of my priorities.

"As far as Zavon goes, I'm absolutely delighted that things are working out for the kid but at the time we decided he wasn't quite what we were looking for.

"He's fast but, to be honest, he's not got the blistering pace which I'd like to add to the mix. He's also right-footed and, in an ideal world, I think a left-sided player would give us a better balance."

PREDICTIONS @La_Cov20: 4-0 to win! PUSB. @JoeyCoombes: Difficult opposition, a draw will be a good result. 2-2! @CityCoventry: 3-2 win for the Sky Blues.

@CTse85: Cov to draw 2-2! A tough game but the lads will battle for a point.

@skyblues15: 2-1 City Thank You.

@AshleyCole6: 2-0 PUSB.

HEAD TO HEAD JORDAN CLARKE v KEVIN LISBIE HE'S 35 now, but Lisbie remains a very slippery customer at this level and has already chalked up nine league goals - one behind joint top scorers Callum Wilson and MK Dons' Patrick Bamford and one ahead of Leon Clarke and Orient team-mate David Mooney.

He also struck twice in Orient's 3-2 Capital One Cup win against ten-man City but sat out their JPT encounter. Assuming he turns out tonight the Sky Blues will need Clarke, who now seems totally at home in his centre-back role, to be at his sharpest.

Fans saddling up WALSALL have made another 250 tickets available to Coventry City fans for Saturday's match at the Banks's Stadium after the Sky Blue Army have snapped up the initial 1,900 allocation. The match is an all-ticket fixture and tickets will not be available to buy on the day of the game.

LEAGUE ONE P W D L; F A P LeytonOrient..............1210 2 0 31 8 32 PeterboroughUtd...........12 10 1 1 24 8 31 WolverhamptonWdrs.....11 8 2 1 21 7 26 PRESTONNORTHEND...........12 6 4 2 19 13 22 Bradford City ................... 12 6 3 3 21 10 21 Swindon Town.................12 6 2 4 22 13 20 Milton Keynes Dons ........ 12 5 4 3 21 16 19 Crawley Town .................. 11 5 4 2 18 14 19 Walsall.............................. 12 5 4 3 14 12 19 Rotherham Utd................ 12 5 4 3 18 18 19 Brentford ......................... 12 5 3 4 16 16 18 Port Vale .......................... 12 4 2 6 14 18 14 Shrewsbury Town ............ 12 2 6 4 12 14 12 Colchester Utd.................12 2 6 4 11 17 12 Carlisle Utd ...................... 11 3 3 5 10 20 12 Crewe Alexandra.............12 3 3 6 11 25 12 CoventryCity..............12 6 3 3 272111 Oldham Athletic..............11 3 2 6 14 16 11 Gillingham ....................... 12 2 3 7 14 21 9 Sheffield Utd ................... 12 2 2 8 10 20 8 Stevenage ........................ 12 2 2 8 10 21 8 Tranmere Rovers.............. 12 2 2 8 10 25 8 Notts County.................... 11 2 1 8 13 21 7 Bristol City........................ 11 0 6 5 15 22 6

CAPTION(S):

HEALTHY COMPETITION: Jordan Willis and (inset) Aaron Phillips are contenders for the right-back slot as Cyrus Christie recovers from his ankle injury. Main picture: Joe Bailey
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 22, 2013
Words:2151
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