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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.

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

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8 Southend 21 8 7 6 31 1
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10 Wimbledon 21 7 8 6 29 5
11 Charlton 20 6 10 4 28 7
12 Millwall 20 8 4 8 28 0
13 Northampton 21 7 6 8 27 1
14 Oxford 21 7 6 8 27 0
15 Port Vale 21 7 6 8 27 -6
16 Gillingham 20 7 5 8 26 -3
17 Walsall 21 6 8 7 26 -6
18 MK Dons 21 6 6 9 24 -4
19 Swindon 21 6 5 10 23 -11
20 Bury 21 6 2 13 20 -12
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22 Oldham 20 3 9 8 18 -10
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