Boothroyd on revenge mission

Coventry boss Aidy Boothroyd is anxious to wipe out the memory of his last encounter with Norwich City.

The Sky Blues take on the Canaries in tomorrow’s Championship match at the Ricoh Arena (3pm), just 11 months after Boothroyd’s Colchester team were hammered 5-0 on home territory by Paul Lambert’s men in a League One promotion battle.

Coventry are currently one place above Norwich in the table and their manager would like it to stay that way.

“I’ve only come across Paul once, when I was at Colchester last year and Norwich beat us 5-0, so I certainly owe him one,” said Boothroyd.

“I think he’s done a wonderful job at Norwich and I’m looking forward to crossing swords with him again.”

Lambert’s line-up has changed considerably this season and tomorrow’s starting eleven may feature only half a dozen survivors from that Colchester clash, but Boothroyd, former Academy coach at Colney, is impressed with what he has seen.

He said: “They look to entertain, they’ve got a nice balance and variety.

Most Read

“They’re a footballing team. They play a diamond, looking to play through the centre of the pitch with David Fox, who I had at Colchester and know very well.

“They’ve got tricky players in Hoolahan and Crofts who can open you up and the strength and power of Chris Martin and Holt. They’ve got a nice balance and they tend to score goals so we know we’re going to have to be very solid.

“But we know that we’ve got enough in our armoury to upset anybody so I’m sure it will be an interesting tactical game, a game where possession might not necessarily win it. We’ll have to make sure that we start fast because they always do.”

Two ex-Canaries, Sammy Clingan and David Bell, are among the contenders for a place in midfield for the Sky Blues in the absence of suspended skipper Lee Carsley.

Clingan is just about ready to return after suffering a knee ligament injury five weeks ago.

Said Boothroyd: “Sammy is such a good player that if he’s fit you’d be a fool not to consider him.

“They play in a different way to what we’ve played before so tactically we’ll have to adjust.

“The fact that I’ve got a lot of options in central midfield means that I can play more than two in there if I want to. We’ve tried a few things on the training pitch and I’ll have another think about it.”

Lambert is forced into one change after the 2-0 home defeat by Portsmouth and looks certain to make two.

With Leon Barnett serving a one-match ban for his dismissal against Pompey, Michael Nelson is favourite to return in defence for what would be his first senior game since August.

Skipper Grant Holt looks a safe bet to return in attack, while Simeon Jackson could revert to the substitutes’ bench.