Reid to ring the changes

PETER Reid is looking to put one over on his old mate Joe Royle tomorrow by shuffling his leaky Sky Blues defence, writes Derek Davis.The Coventry City boss is considering moving Steve Staunton to centre-back alongside Richard Shaw, making them probably the oldest defensive combo in the country after getting stuffed 4-1 at QPR on Tuesday.

PETER Reid is looking to put one over on his old mate Joe Royle tomorrow by shuffling his leaky Sky Blues defence, writes Derek Davis.

The Coventry City boss is considering moving Steve Staunton to centre-back alongside Richard Shaw, making them probably the oldest defensive combo in the country after getting stuffed 4-1 at QPR on Tuesday.

Reid said: "I wasn't happy with the defending side of things, especially in the first half. We surrendered possession for all four of their goals and you just can't afford to do that.

"The good thing about it is that we've got a game against a very good side. It will be tough, but it's an ideal chance to get back into the swing of things.


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"Some times you look at players and think they haven't worked hard enough, but I can't say that with any of my players. There were some individual mistakes, which you can't legislate for, and we didn't win as many tackles as I would have liked in the first half. But I thought we were the better side in the second half and we could have got back into the game."

The switch would mean 18-year-old loanee Matthew Mills from Southampton being dropped to the bench but Reid believes the battle will be decided in midfield.

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He said: "Joe Royle is a big pal of mine and his teams always play great football.

"They always look like scoring goals with Shefki Kuqi and Darren Bent up front, but I think it will be won and lost in the middle of the park.

"They've got Jim Magilton, who has been around for a long time and can dictate a game, and Ian Westlake is one of those young players they always seem to bring through. But we've got Sherwood, Hughes and Doyle in there hopefully getting plenty of possession."

City skipper Tim Sherwood is expecting his team-mates to show a reaction to the defeat, which moved Rangers up to fourth spot and left Coventry struggling.

He said: "Obviously we're upset. Results are the be-all and end-all, especially in this league where three points can push you right up there. But we're not adrift at the bottom of the league and a good run of results could fire us right up there.

"Anybody can beat anybody in this league, there's not a great deal of consistency. We are committed to the cause. We want to win every game and we give it 100 per cent. We've got a manager here who's been brought up on 100% commitment and he wouldn't allow anyone to not give their full lot.

"This is probably a good game for us. It's live on TV, which adds a little bit of extra spice, and perhaps one of the games where we're not expected to win, so we might find that a bit easier to cope with."

Former Colchester United loanee Graham Barrett is expected to keep his place up front alongside recent signing Stern John from Birmingham City.

Right-back Louis Carey has a back problem and might not make it, although Stephen Hughes, the former Arsenal and Everton midfielder, has recovered from a badly bruised shin and is expected to play.

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