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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Coventry City v Crawley Town

9 January 2014

Read the full match preview ahead of the game against the Red Devils...

Venue: Sixfields
Kick-off: 3pm
Date: Sunday, January 12th
Competition: SkyBet League One

After Saturdays FA Cup triumph at Barnsley, it’s back to league action for the Sky Blues on Sunday against a Crawley side looking to establish themselves in their second season in League One.

City won 2-1 at Oakwell, with goals from Franck Moussa and an 89th minute winner from Leon Clarke cancelling out Jim O’ Brien’s opener.

The win sets up a dream fourth round tie away at Arsenal, with City travelling to the Emirates for the second time in two seasons.

A club that has only been professional for nine years, Crawley has enjoyed a remarkable rise through the years, which shows no sign of stopping soon.

The Sussex side reached the Football League for the first time in their history in 2011, winning the Conference title by 15 points under the current Rotherham manager, Steve Evans.

The Red Devils gained successive promotions at the first time of asking, finishing third. They then went on to finish 10th in League One last season. 

Crawley have struggled at times this season, going on a seven match winless run throughout November and December. However with a new man at the helm, the Red Devils are looking to push on towards the play-offs in 2014.

The Gaffer - John Gregory 

A man well known in the Midlands, John Gregory has enjoyed success both as a player and a manager.

Gregory enjoyed an 18-year playing career, winning six England caps and playing for the likes of Northampton Town and Brighton & Hove Albion. 

But it’s as a manager where Gregory is best known, especially for his 5-year stint at Aston Villa, where he guided the Villains to UEFA Cup qualification twice and an FA Cup final in 2000.

After Villa, Gregory managed two clubs that he used to play for in Derby County and Queens Park Rangers, before a string of jobs in Israel and Kazakhstan. He was appointed as Crawley manager in December last year.   

Last season was the first time the two sides have met in any competition. 

Each side won their home fixture, with the Sky Blues winning 3-1 in November, and Crawley winning 2-0 in April.

Matthew Tubbs

A consistent scorer in non-league for Salisbury Town, Matt Tubbs got his big break when he signed for Crawley Town in 2010, for a then club record fee.

An instant fans favourite, Tubbs scored an incredible 40 goals in 49 appearances in his first season, including the winner against Torquay United in the FA Cup, which set the club up for a glamour tie away to Manchester United. 

His form got him noticed at his hometown club Bournemouth, and in 2012 he signed for another club record deal of £800,000. Tubbs scored on his debut but ultimately struggled for form and fitness in his first season.

Tubbs has been on loan to Rotherham United for the bulk of this season, appearing on the bench during the Sky Blues’ 3-1 win over the Millers on New Years Day. But this week he has signed on a one-month loan, back at the club where he made his name.

Leon Clarke

Currently leading the line for the Sky Blues, Leon has also played for Crawley, under a loan spell in the 2011-12 season.

Clarke made three appearances at the Red Devils, whilst on loan from Charlton Athletic, scoring his only goal against Bradford City in a 2-1 win.

Adam Barton

Another current Sky Blue to play for both clubs is Adam Barton, who had a loan spell at Crawley in the 2009-10 season.

Barton played twice during his time at Broadfield in the Conference, a move that occurred whilst under contract at his hometown club of Preston.

Tickets are now on general sale.

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