IAIN Dowie will return to the Ricoh Arena for the first time since his departure in February 2008, with a view to building on the R`s first away win since February.
Dowie was a victim of circumstance as the Ray Ranson era brought new thoughts and objectives for the Sky Blues, plans that Dowie wasn`t to be a part of.
Instead Coventry looked to former Fulham and Real Sociedad boss Chris Coleman to move the club forward. But the Coventry fans are a difficult bunch to please, booing their side off after a home draw against an excellent Preston side at the Ricoh Arena.
Coventry is a club that has, like Rangers, fallen on hard times since leaving the Premier League, and have never looked like getting back since dropping through the trap door in 2001. In fact last season they were only a point away from slipping another division into League One.
Rangers were the first team to feature at the Ricoh, and a thoroughly incompetent performance saw them falter to defeat. A new side full of exuberance and confidence travel to the Ricoh this weekend as the R`s go in search of all three points.
View From The Bench
All the talk surrounds the return of Iain Dowie, and former players have come to the former Sky Blue Boss` defence, encouraging fans not to boo the current Rangers boss.
Winger Jay Tabb looks to some happy memories under Dowie in difficult circumstances,
“I think that Iain Dowie should get a good reception from our fans because he didn`t do anything wrong while he was here,” Tabb told The Coventry Telegraph
‘We had some great performances under him and he was in charge during a tough time for the club.”
“We didn`t get paid for a week after we should have been three months in a row and he had no money to spend but did a good job.” Tabb continued
‘Although Iain has gone on to another club, he should get a really good reception for what he did here.”
The former Brentford man couldn`t resist himself when it came to commenting on Rangers cash, referring to QPR`s wealth like, ” the circus coming to town”
“Even though the club is one of the richest in the country, if not the world, they won`t let that affect them (Dowie, Harbin and Flowers) and their hard work.” Tabb continued,
‘They will be coming here desperate to beat us, just as we will be desperate to beat them and put in a good performance to show them that they left a good side.”
Former R`s forward Leon Best was looking forward to keeping the pleasantries to after the game and concentrating on the matter at hand,
“He will definitely want to get one over his former club, just like everyone does when they come up against their old club.”
‘They always want to come back and haunt you but we want to do it over QPR for the fans.’
Coventry City Team News:
The Sky Blues looked set to remain unchanged for the visit of QPR this Saturday. Chris Coleman is looking to keep faith with the side that picked up a 1-1 draw against the ten men of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Forward Leon McKenzie picked up a knock in the fixture but looks set to keep his place this weekend whilst Guillaume Beuzelin will look to a place on the bench following his return from a calf injury.
Michael Doyle and Aron Gunnarsson came in for high praise following commendable performances in the heart of midfield during the week, and are set to keep their places despite the return of the French summer signing.
Maligned striker Leon Best has been the subject of some harsh treatment by some sections of support recently, he currently sits behind McKenzie and Rangers nemesis Clinton Morrison scoring against the R`s 7 times in 11 meetings. Morrison has scored in each of the last five times he`s played Rangers.
Player to watch: Jay Tabb
Vital QPR new signing Nik has picked out midfielder Jay Tabb as Coventry`s ‘one to watch` ahead of the fixture at the Ricoh Arena.
To read the report click here
Queens Park Rangers Team News:
Buoyed by their first away win this season, Rangers will look to keep the nucleus of the side that performed so admirably at Carrow Road on Wednesday.
Skipper Martin Rowlands is set to continue as the attacking man of the middle three, following his exceptional set-piece strike against the Canaries.
With Matthew Connolly suspended after being given his marching orders on Wednesday, Rangers may give Latvian international Kaspars Gorkss the nod ahead of the returning Fitz Hall. Damion Stewart remains set to feature despite picking up concussion prior to the victory in Norfolk.
With the influential Akos Buzsaky returning to the bench for the Norwich fixture, and Real Madrid loanee Daniel Parejo sitting on the periphery, Iain Dowie once again has a selection headache ahead of the game at the Ricoh.
Forwards Angelo Balanta and Hogan Ephraim were omitted from the victorious squad on Wednesday, as Dowie will have decisions to make with regards to who will take to the bench.
Player to watch: Dexter Blackstock
A real hard-working performance on Wednesday night forced to Dexter being withdrawn from action early with a view to the game at the Ricoh being only three days after.
The striker was given no protection by referee Rob Shoebridge, as he himself was booked after being given some rough treatment by the Canaries rearguard.
Blackstock continues to confound his critics with four goals in the last four games, as his performance is visibly improving with every strike.
Dexter has relished his role as lone striker in recent weeks and has been ably supported by some accomplished attacking midfield play.
Blackstock has faced the Sky Blues on five occasions, but he is yet to score against them. So far Dexter has scored 23 goals in 80 league appearances for Rangers and will be looking to add to his tally this weekend.
The Stat Attack
Rangers moved back above Reading into fourth place in the Coca Cola Championship after their 4th win in 6. There was 1 draw away at Bristol City, and 1 defeat as the R`s succumbed to a 3-0 walloping at Bramall Lane.
The R`s finally picked up their first victory on the road since February 2008 in 10 attempts. The 1-0 score-line at Carrow Road was enough to secure a priceless first away win, as Iain Dowie continues to stamp his authority on the side.
The Sky Blues are without a win in 4 games, after 2 defeats at home to Bristol City and away to Doncaster, followed up with 2 creditable draws against Preston North End at home, then Sheffield United away.
Coventry are without a win at home since the opening day of the season, against Norwich City, and despite a respectable home draw against Preston the natives continue to grow restless at the Ricoh.
HEAD 2 HEAD
Coventry City: 40
Last time out
5th March 2008 – Ricoh Arena
Coca Cola Championship
Coventry City 0
Rangers Team: Lee Camp, Michael Mancienne, Fitz Hall, Matthew Connolly, Damien Delaney, Akos Buzsaky, Mikele Leigertwood, Martin Rowlands, Hogan Ephraim, Patrick Agyemang (Dexter Blackstock 85), Rowan Vine.
Referee– Mr. D Whitestone
Assistants – Mr. R Merchant and Mr. D Unsworth
Fourth official – N Hobbis
Dean Whitestone will officiate Rangers clash with Coventry at the weekend.
To get all the stats concerning the official click here.
The Ricoh Arena is a ground where it won`t be too difficult to silence the home crowd. An early goal may cause ruptions with the home fans, and the players heads will drop after an unimpressive run. Providing Rangers do this I predict success on the road this weekend; Which is why I predict:
Boxer`s Prediction: 2-0 Rangers
Who– Aston Villa
Where– Villa Park
When– Wednesday 24th September 2008, 7:45pm.