Match talk

The Boss is back in Coventry…

Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody’s got a hungry heart

Hungry Heart – Bruce Springsteen

The Boss is indeed back in Coventry…today as it happens.

And by 3.00 pm we will have indeed laid down our money and will hopefully be playing our part, small as it is, in cheering Cov on to what will be hopefully a rare win against one of the teams above us in the table. Our hearts are hungry for a win…

Okay, Springsteen he’s not, but Scott Morgan is the still the boss, the man in charge if only for the next couple of months or so and, as such, I hope everyone gets behind him and the team today. One of the things I’ve been particularly impressed with this season is that supporters have rarely shown frustration towards the players or the coaches during the home (or away) games, even when results haven’t gone our way. Agreed attendances are 30% down on last year so some supporters have voted with their feet, but even so…

I think most supporters appreciate that, given the number of injuries this season, the players haven’t been able to play themselves into any form and the coaches haven’t been able to select a consistent side, other than during the run of wins after the Esher game in November (but even then the team excluded a number of injured players who would have been expected to be in the match day squad).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m very happy with the team selection for today’s game. I’d previously said that I’d like those who’d finished the Rosslyn Park game on such a high last weekend to be given the opportunity to start this week’s and that’s pretty much the case, even though there are 6 changes from the side that started last week, three of which are enforced due to injuries to Hamilton and Woodburn and I imagine Poole, too. Tom only came back for the Esher after injury, having missed the Fylde and Hull games, so perhaps he struggled post-match – I can’t think of any other reason he would be out of the side…? Ben Thomas has done a decent job in the games he’s started, but Cov will miss Tom’s experience. Tom Hicks is a fine player and impressed me in his first spell here back in 2012.

I would have had Oliver return in place of Woodburn anyway, although Alex has never had a poor game in a Coventry shirt – I just think Oliver has been one of our most consistent players in a very inconsistent season and, like Tom P, brings additional experience to the team.

Danny Wright is a bit of an enigma really, a strong and aggressive player who is capable of doing damage to the opposition with the ball. However, I’m not sure where his best position is – probably in the second row for me, but I know Danny enjoys the back row and he will give additional options in the line out as well as being a disruptive influence on the opposition throw (he won some good ball against RP last week).

Chad Thorne’s return to the front row also makes complete sense, especially taking into account Tivalu’s two yellows in the last two games. Devlin Hope is relegated to the bench following Matt Price’s return to the team and whilst I understand the reasons given the impact he and Chad had when they came on against Rosslyn Park, it can’t do much for his confidence to only have had 5 starts all season.

The backs are pretty much as I’d suggested earlier in the week, with Tresidder returning after illness and Ryan taking the 10 shirt with Cliffie at centre. I feared that Caolan might be out for a few games when he was initially injured last week, but it must have looked far worse than it was and it’s good to see him back. I’d have started with Peter Weightman, another player like Devlin who is struggling to get the game time he needs and, in my opinion, deserves. I didn’t see Worth coming in at full back, but with Hamilton injured last week, Mieres injured whilst representing Uruguay and Cliffie having to play in the centre, I guess the options were a little limited.

I’d still have Sam Pailor in, even at no 8, with Daniel Carpo on the bench, but the replacements look strong, with Evans, Weightman, Kivalu and Hope all there if needed.

To say I’m looking forward to this game is an understatement. I’m optimistic that we’ll get the win, especially if we can start with the same passion and intensity today as we ended with against Rosslyn Park.

The Butts is home, a place to escape for an afternoon once every couple of weeks. It’s being back with friends…and perhaps the last two lines of the penultimate verse of ‘Hungry Heart’ is itself a cautionary note to the club…, especially with a bigger, more alluring home on the other side of the city.

Everybody needs a place to rest
Everybody wants to have a home
Don’t make no difference what nobody says
Ain’t nobody like to be alone

~

 

 

 

 

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