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“The harshness of the league has meant that we have played well in matches and suffered from lapses.” - Coventry City’s Tony Mowbray

1 April 2016

Tony Mowbray takes his Coventry City side to face fourth placed Gillingham at Priestland Stadium, with three points a must have for both sides...

Mowbray’s squad selection has widened since the return of international duty candidates, while Gillingham may be propped up by the return to fitness of some of their key players.

The Sky Blues face a tough run of fixtures in April, beginning with Gillingham and continuing with Wigan, Millwall and Bradford.

Mowbray said: “Confidence and self-belief is still strong, this group of footballers are first and foremost good human beings and there is a robustness about the team.

“I said after Tuesday night’s defeat, the group have resolve and yet they don’t like to lose - we have to take it on the chin at the moment. I don’t see any shrinking violets, or players shying away. 

“The run that we are on at the moment is hurting us all pretty bad and we are searching for the answers to put it right.”

Mowbray’s side beat Gillingham comfortably back in November at the Ricoh Arena, in a 4-1 win and with Jacob Murphy netting a 10-minute hat-trick.

The win sent the Sky Blues to the top of League One, having leapfrogged then-top of the table Gillingham, but City have since dropped to tenth. 

Mowbray added: “We have a confidence and belief that we can perform against this team. They have quite dramatically changed formation, which has turned it around for them [Gillingham]. They are now defensively stable. 

“Dominic Samuel we know well, he is a big powerful boy who will give defenders problems. Both wing backs are fast. They are a high intensity team who will get a lot of men in the box.

“That was perhaps their downfall against us [at home], committing too many men forward and left them vulnerable to the counter from Kent, Murphy and Armstrong.”

Mowbray’s side has been given a boost by the return of Adam Armstrong and Jack Stephens from international duty, although James Maddison is sidelined with a hip injury.

The manager spoke about Coventry City’s top scorer: “He is only just got back. We had a chat about his experiences. It’s good to have him back around, he is a big character in this club.

“A talisman this season really, and yet he has been 18 for the most part. Hopefully there is a few more goals in his boots."

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