Joe: Give Heath the Job
Saturday, 15th Jan 2005 19:25
Boss Joe Royle urged the Coventry board to give caretaker-manager Adrian Heath the job full-time after the Sky Blues pushed Town all the way. In the end a Shefki Kuqi goal, bizarrely assisted by a Kelvin Davis through ball, gave the Blues a 3-2 win.
Royle said that Heath has had an immediate effect since taking over from Peter Reid, who left the club last week: "It's not up to me of course, but he has galvanised the team. They certainly played for him today and I believe he deserves the chance.
"We were slow out of the blocks and went one down. We inched our way back into the game, went in front and promptly gave a penalty away.
"The lads were delighted for Kuqi, who scored the winning goal after conceding the penalty.
"For me it was out most important victory of the season because we were below our best. We are averaging two points a game - a formula which never fails to work.
"We scored three goals and are top scorers in the division. I am very proud of that.
"We showed great spirit and there is tremendous friendship between the players. The celebrations are not contrived. That is one of the benefits of having a small squad; they are together as a team."
Heath was shattered to be defeated by such an unusual goal: "I was devastated to lose in the manner in which we lost.
"It was a bizarre winning goal for Ipswich. Their goalkeeper miskicked from his penalty spot and no one else touched the ball until Kuqi put it in our net.
"It was hard after our lads had put so much effort in. I cannot fault my players. For long periods we were the better team and created chances.
"Unfortunately this is a results business. We have had too many games of this sort, which is why we find ourselves where we are in the league table."
The former Everton player was critical of referee Mike Russell and his assistants: "The officials were poor all afternoon. There was a foul on Steve Staunton before they scored their first goal and Jason De Vos kept the ball in with his arm. The officials can go about their jobs on Monday while we pick up the pieces."
Heath wants Coventry's board to decide on a new boss quickly: "Whoever gets the job, whether it's me or someone else, they will need to bring in players.
"A decision must be made soon; they are not going to let a caretaker sign players."
Photo: Action Images
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