Town to Make Two Changes
Friday, 14th Jan 2005 14:01
Town will make two changes for the visit of troubled Championship strugglers Coventry City. Central defender Richard Naylor is back after his groin injury but midfielder Ian Westlake is unavailable due to suspension.
Naylor will replace Scott Mitchell, who will drop to the bench. Town's longest-serving player will take over alongside Jason De Vos at the heart of the defence, with Fabian Wilnis switching to his more usual right-back role.
Westlake reached his fifth booking of the season in the 2-1 win at Plymouth and misses one match. Tommy Miller, a scorer as a sub against Bolton in the FA Cup last week, will return to the starting line-up.
Up front, manager Joe Royle has said he will continue with Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi despite having Dean Bowditch and Pablo Couñago waiting in the wings: "I have a sense of loyalty about Darren and Shefki. There is no problem - we are top of the league, the top scorers and our front players have done well together."
Loanee Danny Karbassoyoon looks set to keep his place at left-back ahead of Matt Richards, the American having recovered from the calf injury which forced him off in the latter stages of the Bolton match.
Town's only senior injury absentee is defender Drissa Diallo who is still a couple of weeks away from a return due to his hamstring injury.
After manager Peter Reid left Coventry last week, his assistant Adrian Heath is in temporary charge of the Sky Blues, who currently sit in 20th position in the Championship.
Heath will be without right-back Louis Carey who is suspended for one match after reaching five bookings.
Also missing is striker Neil Wood who has an ankle injury. Experienced midfield man Tim Sherwood is not yet ready to return after a leg injury and keeper Richard Brush is out with a broken wrist. Defender Andy Whing could make his first team return, having recovered from a hernia operation.
Coventry fans will be protesting against unpopular chairman Mike McGinnity's imposition of a new club badge prior to Saturday's match.
City fans are expecting a long battle to keep their current badge with the Portman Road protest their first demonstration. The organisers will be handing out leaflets outside the away section which supporters will hold up five minutes before kick-off.
Saturday's referee is Mick Russell from Hertfordshire, who so far this season has shown 41 yellow and one red card in 18 matches. Russell is in his first season as a league referee and has not previously officiated in a Town match.
Squad: Bent, Bowditch, Couñago, Currie, Davis, De Vos, Horlock, Karbassiyoon, Kuqi, Magilton, Miller, Mitchell, Naylor, Price, Richards, Wilnis.
Photo: Action Images
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