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INTERVIEW: Sam McCallum Wants Sky Blues to Make Their Mark

City play league leaders Reading on Friday night...

29 October 2020

Sam McCallum wants the Sky Blues to make their mark on the Sky Bet Championship when they take on league leaders Reading tomorrow night.

City are looking for their second win of the season on Friday night and are coming up against a Reading side who are unbeaten in their opening eight league matches.

Despite the Royals making an impressive start to the season, McCallum thinks the Sky Blues have a good opportunity to show the rest of the division what they are capable of.

McCallum said: “This is the game to do it, if we’re going to do it, last season we played amazing against the good teams and this is our chance to put a mark on this league and show the other teams in the Championship what we can do.

“I think we’ll give them a good run about, they’re top of the league but we’re not too worried about that because it’s early days and we know that can change in such a short time period, teams go in and out of form and that applies to us as well, hopefully we can kick on and start climbing up the league.

“It makes it difficult to work them out, but we’ve got a good defence and although the past two games may not have shown that, we still think we’ve got one of the strongest defences in the league.”

The full-back has been playing on the right in the absence of both Fankaty Dabo and Julien Dacosta and believes the Sky Blues remain solid at the back but need to focus more in the latter stages of games, having conceded two late goals in midweek.

“I ended up on the left-hand side against Middlesbrough, Fanky coming back in gives us a bit more balance because he’s naturally right footed and can open out whereas I tend to cut in a bit more.

“It was a blow, conceding two late goals, but we showed throughout the game that we were quite solid and shows what we can do, we just need to focus more in the last 10 minutes and not switch off.

“It’s a good advantage, with the game coming thick and fast, you can’t dwell on what’s happened or the results that have gone, you just have to focus on the next game, the pandemic hasn’t helped any team, we just need to get ourselves together, dust ourselves down and we’ll kick on eventually.”

McCallum knows there is still plenty of football to be played and feels that City can climb up the table in the next few weeks as they continue to find their feet in the early stages of the season.

“At the moment, it’s more of a case of working the league out and understanding what the different teams are like, we were in League One for a couple of seasons and we’d worked the league out by then and it allowed us to kick on and go for promotion.

“It’s been a rocky start but obviously we’re still trying to find our feet, at this new level it’s a massive step up from League One, the standard is unbelievable, and you’ve seen that in the results from Wycombe and Rotherham, once we find our feet, we’ll get going and start getting points on the board.

“We’re just trying to work the league out, in our upcoming fixtures I think we can start scoring goals and picking up points, we all contribute to goals and we’re all accountable for the goals we score and for the goals we concede as well.

“It’s still early days, we know from past seasons that the league can change by Christmas and after Christmas that’s when it starts getting serious and teams that are serious about fighting for promotion and the play-offs will start climbing the league.”

The 20-year-old also opened up about his return to the club and believes a healthy battle is developing between himself and Ryan Giles as both players look to force their way into Mark Robins starting line-up.

“The loans and the signings that were made at Norwich made it a bit harder for me to get myself into the side, I had a meeting with the manager and he wanted me to get some game time in the Championship and I was grateful that the club wanted me on loan and coming here was a no-brainer.

“Me and Ryan are good mates in the changing room, it’s healthy competition between us and everyone is pretty close in the changing room, we’ve all got good relationships with each other.”


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