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Contrasting moods ahead of cup clash

Contrasting moods ahead of cup clash

Although the general perception is always that a lower division side has their best chance of beating Premiership opposition at home, Coventry City's prospects of turning over Middlesbrough arguably look greater on Wednesday night than they did ten days ago at the Ricoh Arena.

Since that game, 'Boro have won 3-0 away to Sunderland but then crashed 4-0 at home to Aston Villa, a result that led to angry scenes both inside and outside the Riverside Stadium as fans called for the head of manager Steve McClaren.

Chairman Steve Gibson was forced to confront some of those fans outside the ground on Saturday evening and said: 'The only way this club has gone under Steve McClaren is up.

'We have had a bad couple of months but there are reasons for that. We need all the fans to get behind the team.

'When Steve McClaren came to this club we had only managed 42 points under Terry Venables.

'Since then, we have won the Carling Cup, we have got into Europe the last two years running and we are still in the Uefa Cup.'

Meanwhile, former Middlesbrough midfielder Jonathan Greening weighed into the debate by claiming that some of his ex-teammates had told him they had lost faith in McClaren's methods.

Chris Riggott is set to return to the 'Boro side on Wednesday although George Boateng, Fabio Rochemback, Ray Parlour, Ugo Ehiogu and Franck Quedrue are all still out.

The Sky Blues meanwhile have won both their league game since the first cup tie and look to be all but safe from the threat of being dragged into the relegation zone.

That will allow a confident City side to give the tie their all and they will take further heart from the trouble they caused Middlesbrough a week and a half ago.

Writer:CCFC
Date:Tuesday February 7 2006
Time: 3:13PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Sheff Utd 38 23 9 6 78 30
2 Bolton 38 21 9 8 72 26
3 Fleetwood 38 19 11 8 68 19
4 Bradford 39 16 18 5 66 16
5 Scunthorpe 39 18 10 11 64 20
6 Southend 38 16 12 10 60 11
7 Millwall 37 16 12 9 60 9
8 Bristol Rovers 39 15 12 12 57 0
9 Oxford 38 16 7 15 55 5
10 Rochdale 37 15 9 13 54 4
11 Walsall 39 13 14 12 53 -2
12 Peterborough 39 14 10 15 52 0
13 Wimbledon 38 12 15 11 51 3
14 Northampton 39 14 7 18 49 -6
15 Charlton 39 10 17 12 47 3
16 MK Dons 38 12 11 15 47 -1
17 Bury 39 12 9 18 45 -7
18 Gillingham 39 11 12 16 45 -16
19 Oldham 39 10 14 15 44 -12
20 Shrewsbury 38 11 10 17 43 -12
21 Port Vale 37 10 11 16 41 -17
22 Swindon 39 9 9 21 36 -19
23 Chesterfield 39 8 9 22 33 -26
24 Coventry 39 6 11 22 29 -28
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