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Competition for places for weekend

18 October 2012

City boss Mark Robins has seen a battle for places emerge after his first full week's training

Sky Blues manager Mark Robins says he has seen strong competition for places emerge in his first full week of training with the squad.

City have played seven matches in just 26 days since Robins took charge late last month meaning this week was his first without a midweek game to interrupt training.

With greater opportunity to see all of his new charges in action, the Coventry boss has been pleased with what he has seen and insists that no-one’s place in the side is safe.

“The lads are working ever so hard in training,” said Robins at today’s pre-match press conference at the Ryton training ground.

“We have had a decent training week. We’ve got a big squad and everyone can play they just have to keep their heads down, keep working hard and everybody will get their opportunity at some point.

“There are one or two who haven’t played a part yet and they are starting to look sharp in training. 

“Some will play on Friday in an Under-21 at Leicester City so I will go down and have a look and run the rule over a few.

“Hopefully they will keep pushing for a starting berth. We need competition for places, we need to get everybody fighting for a jersey and the lads are in possession of them have to fight to retain them.”

Two of those currently in position of a first team shirt are John Fleck and Richard Wood. Both had to be withdrawn at the weekend through injury but have been involved in full training and could feature on Saturday.

Cody McDonald and Gary McSheffrey have also returned to training following injury, presenting Robins with a number of options – but he is well aware that Notts County boss Keith Curle has plenty of talent at his disposal too.

“They tend to be better away from home than they are at home,” said Robins of the Magpies, who lost 4-1 at home to Sheffield United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last night.

“I watched them last night and they made some changes. They tried to pass the ball, they play 4-3-3 although they changed their shape to 4-4-2 in the second half.

“They have some good players there with pace and power. He’s got a quite a few options there with Francois Zoko, who played on the left yesterday and who could perhaps play on both sides or up front.

“Yoann Arquin played on the right but can play down the middle and Andre Boucaud who is on loan from Luton, generally everything goes through him. He is a good passer.

“They had one or two injuries last night but he has options to change things. They are doing well in the league, they have some powerful midfield players there who break and try to get in the box so we have to make sure we are right defensively and we give them more problems on the attacking side than they give us.

“There is plenty to work on over the next 24 hours.”

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