City on their way
6 August 2006, 13:30
A hard-fought opening day victory for the Sky Blues came after Daryl Murphy had given Sunderland the lead early in the second-half, sliding the ball home after an earlier shot had appeared to strike a home defender's hand.
The Black Cats had a decent early chance after Marcus Hall was caught napping from a throw-in but City came back well, with Stern John going close before forcing a smart save from Ben Alnwick just before half-time.
After Murphy's goal, City threw on Don Hutchison for the ineffective Dele Adebola and the veteran Scot made a difference with his ability to hold up the ball.
John curled in a superb equaliser, a 'world-class' finish according to Sunderland manager Niall Quinn who was less than pleased by his side switching off from a free-kick seven minutes later, leading to McSheffrey firing in by the aid of a deflection.
Most reports of the game had City down as deserved winners, the Daily Mirror saying: 'The size of the challenge in front of Quinn was hammered home when Stern John and Gary McSheffrey earned the Sky Blues a victory they undoubtedly deserved.'
The Sun commented: ' The Wearsiders were perhaps unlucky to leave the Midlands empty-handed as they did enough to earn at least a point.'
The Newcastle Journal report claimed: 'A Coventry team lacking in class came from behind to inflict a defeat that left Quinn, his players and more than 2,500 travelling supporters deflated.'
Micky Adams on Gary McSheffrey's future
'I've read that Birmingham are going to come back in for him but hopefully they will understand we don't want to sell.
'Every player has a price, but where will I find someone to replace Gary?'
Sunderland manager Niall Quinn
'From the free-kick for their second we were caught napping. That's a glitch we had last season and has cost us dear again. It's something we can work on.
'But I do not want that to take away from our performance which was full of enthusiasm and for the most part, I think we outplayed Coventry.'