'I still love the FA Cup' - Coventry hoping to recapture 1987 spirit to overcome Canaries
- Credit: PA
The FA Cup is still an important competition for Coventry City fans. The Sky Blues won the competition in 1987 and Tom Ward from the Sky Blues Extra podcast provides an insight into Norwich City's opponents this weekend.
Q: How important do you think Mark Robins is going to see this game against Norwich or is he going to see it in the same way as Daniel Farke will, as a bit of an opportunity to give players that maybe haven’t had a lot of minutes some game time?
A: I think it is a tricky one this year. Generally, Mark Robins takes the cup quite seriously and we have actually had a couple of pretty good cup runs under him in the last three or four years.
We had a nice one last year actually but I think with the landscape of Covid and with so many games being crammed in plus the fact survival in the league for us is just so paramount I think it is probably a year where we are not going to take it as seriously.
Obviously, the fans can’t be here either so there is none of that kind of draw of getting the big tie away or anything so I would imagine he will probably put out a slightly weakened side for this one and I am sure it is similar for Norwich.
Q: Coventry are previous cup winners, having won the competition in 1987. Is that something, given the memories that day created, that makes the FA Cup more important to Sky Blues fans?
A: You can’t really argue that it has definitely changed over the years, it is definitely not what it used to be, people remember when they were kids and it used to be a whole day’s event the FA Cup final and winning the FA Cup was, for Coventry, the biggest day in our history.
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If you talk to any Coventry fans they will always talk about 1987 so it has definitely lost a bit of that magic I would say over the years with TV and the different times of the games and stuff and it has kind of spoiled it a little bit I would say.
For me, personally, I still love the FA Cup, like I have said we have had a couple of really nice runs in the last few years, some really big ties at Premier League teams. I just think that this year it is slightly different. It's a bit of a win-win for us, this draw.
Q: There has been a desire amongst some Norwich fans for Sam McCallum to return to the club from his loan at St Andrews. Talk us through how he is getting on under Mark Robins. It doesn't look likely that he will come back to his parent club this month.
A: He has won his place back in the team, obviously we have got Ryan Giles on loan from Wolves as well so it is those two battling for that left wing-back spot in the team and Giles has had a really good season so far as well but McCallum managed to break back into the team around about when we played Norwich in November and he has managed to keep his place really well.
He is not always really consistent he has the odd off day and sometimes he is not in the game as much as he could be but again he is obviously stepping up a level so it is to be expected.
He was a star man last season, he really was great in League One and he is just adapting to the levels so I think a full season in the Championship will definitely do him so good and will probably be ready then to maybe, Premier would be a bit too much of a step up, but he will definitely be a really solid Championship player I think next season once he has had a full season with us.
Q: What sort of team are you expecting Robins to field for this change on Saturday?
A: I think we will probably make some changes, I think at the top of the pitch we haven’t got loads of options to make changes so we have probably only got a couple of fit strikers but we have got quite a few young lads, I think we have just recalled Josh Eccles from Gillingham so I think he might feature in midfield possibly give McCallum a rest and bring Giles back in.
We have got a couple of young centre-halves as well that might want to get a chance. Goalkeeper wise we will probably keep it the same because there is no point in changing the keeper there.
Probably a similar sort of formation as we have been playing but just sort of filling in a few bodies here and there and maybe five or six changes just to freshen things up and give people a bit of a rest I think because obviously, the fixtures will be coming thick and fast after this.
Q: Score prediction?
A: I said on our podcast that I thought you would beat us 2-1 I think for me I am not too bothered about the result or the scoreline as long as we put out a good performance and maybe a couple of young players will acquit themselves well and maybe we score a goal and I will be pretty happy with that.
I will go 2-1 to Norwich which wouldn’t be the end of the world