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"We'll continue with the 3-5-2 formation and we're going to split the group for the two games." - Coventry City's Steven Pressley

1 August 2014

The City boss has also confirmed Mohamed Coulibaly will miss the final two pre-season games...

Coventry City manager Steven Pressley has revealed City will continue to play the 3-5-2 sytem in the final two pre-season games.

The Sky Blues have worked on the new system throughout pre-season as Pressley looks to have flexibility with his formation for the 2014/15 League One season.

Signs that City are adjusting well to the 3-5-2 formation appeared on Wednesday night when the Sky Blues recorded an impressive 1-0 victory over Championship side Watford.

Pressley's side travel to the Memorial Stadium tonight to face Bristol Rovers and the City boss has confirmed there are a number of places still up for grabs in the starting XI for the first game of the season at Bradford City.

The City boss said: "In my opinion, there are still quite a number of positions up for grabs. I'm set on a few things now but if I don't see the right mentality from the players in the two games, then there could be more places made available.

"We're going to split the groups. We're going to have one group who play ninety minutes tonight and the other group will play 90 minutes on Saturday.

"We're going to continue with the 3-5-2. We've played a couple of games in that system and we've seen it evolve. We'll decide what system to play on the opening day of the season when we analyse Bradford's strength's and weaknesses. There are real strengths with the 4-4-2 system as well so it just gives us the flexibility to be able to adjust during the season. 

"I think the 3-5-2 system gives us a greater degree of width in the team. Danny Swanson and Jim O'Brien, as wide players, like to come in off the wings and operate behind the strikers. Playing with wing-backs gives us more natural width which allows us to stretch the opposition a little bit more."

City play their final pre-season game against Stevenage at Broadhall Way on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm, with the first game of the season just eight days away.

Mohamed Coulibaly is set to miss the final two pre-season games with injury but Pressley said he has been delighted with Reda Johnson's progression this week and the way the team have improved since the Newport defeat.

He added: "We learnt a lot in the 24 hours. When we analysed the performance at Newport, it was clear what aspects were missing from the team and so when we spoke about it with the players, they improved those qualities for the Watford game. There were plenty of encouraging signs.

"Mohamed Coulibaly will still be missing for the two games but other than that, there are no injuries. Reda Johnson has got stronger since his injury which has been great to see.

"We're going to step him up to 60 minutes at the weekend and I'm sure he'll be ready for the start of the season." 

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