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INTERVIEW: Liam Kelly Looks Ahead to Tough Rochale Test

The skipper expects a tough match on Saturday...

15 November 2019

Liam Kelly believes Rochdale will provide a “tough” test for the Sky Blues ahead of their clash in Sky Bet League One this weekend.

City won in the FA Cup last time out, producing a fine team performance to defeat Colchester United and advance to the second round of the competition.

Kelly was pleased with the victory at the JobServe Community Stadium and wants to carry on that momentum into the game with Rochdale on Saturday.

Kelly said: “It was definitely an important victory in the FA Cup last weekend. Colchester are a good team, they’re in and around the play-offs in League Two.

“To go there and put a very good and solid performance means it’s great to be in the hat for the second round.

“We’ve got a home draw, hopefully we can get a bit of a cup run going and it should increase our confidence and chance of success this season.

“With the limited striking options, we’ve got at the moment, the change in formation has worked really well.

“We’ve got fantastic players and some that maybe haven’t been playing as much who have come in and done a good job.

“It’s good for confidence and we just need to keep that momentum going.”

Speaking on Rochdale, Kelly noted the threat of veteran striker Ian Henderson and believes the Sky Blues will have to be at the top of their game to get a result.

“They’ll be tough opposition, they’re always a tough team to face. Ian Henderson up front, he’s getting old, but he keeps scoring goals, so he’ll be a massive threat.

“They’ll be competitive because they’ve put in some good performances this year and they’ll be looking to come here and get a result against us.

“We’re going to have to be on the top of our game and perform well to get something out of it.”

The captain was delighted with the news that midfield pair Jamie Allen and Jodi Jones are closing in on a return to full fitness and thinks that both players will only improve Mark Robins squad.

“It’s great news. When they’re fully fit, they’ll be two of the best players in the league, I really believe that.

“Jodi has been out for such a long time that he needs people to be patient with him to allow him to get back to the level that he was and progress from there.

“He’s worked so hard over the last two years and everyone is so pleased that he’s really close to being fit again.

“Jamie’s injury has been frustrating for him, but he’s got a lot of experience and that’s what he’ll add to us and that will only strengthen us.”

With the return of both Allen and Jones, Kelly believes that will only add to the competition for places in the squad and further strengthens City’s midfield.

“We’ve got some fantastic midfield players and that’s what you need. You could see our strength in midfield against Colchester, that’s the quality that we’ve got.

“We’re all pushing each other to get into the starting line-up and if there are any injuries or suspensions or anything like that you have full confidence in the strength of the squad that anyone can step in at any time.”

Kelly also touched on the news that Max Biamou’s sensational strike against Peterborough last month wasn’t nominated for the league’s goal of the month award.

“They must have missed it they couldn’t have seen it!

“It was such a fantastic goal. I was thinking goal of the season. I’m sure he feels a bit let down that he’s not a contender.”

The midfielder thinks that the Frenchman will be missed by City as he serves out the remainder of his suspension but praised Amadou Bakayoko for his work up front in the absence of several forward players.

“Baka is doing a fantastic job he’s working his socks off being the only fit and available striker we’ve got at the moment.

“It’s unfortunate that Max is going to be missing for the next few games, but he’s going to be a real threat when he comes back from suspension.”


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