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In opposition: Coventry City v Swindon Town

27 February 2013

Both npower League 1 promotion hopefuls Coventry City and Swindon Town have experienced managerial changes in the build-up to this weekend's crucial encounter at the Ricoh Arena, and here, a fan from each club previews the match. 


Name: Dave Woods

Club: Coventry City

Number of years as a supporter: 31

Favourite moment as a fan: Darren Huckerby's goal in our 3-2 win against Manchester United back in December 1997. We were 2-1 down with about five minutes to go when a Dion Dublin penalty brought us level. That would have been good enough against the runaway league leaders, but a mazy run and superb individual goal gave us the win. Moments like that keep you going through years of miserable performances, and I was right behind the goal when it went in.

How many games a season do you attend? Only a handful these days since I've moved to London.

Where do you sit? In the North stand as close to the centre of the goal as I can get.

Name: Dean McMackin

Club: Swindon Town

Number of years as a supporter: 28

Favourite moment as a fan: Promotion to the Premier League in 1993 after beating Leicester in the Play-Off final at Wembley.

How many games a season do you attend? I try to get to every home game and probably make it to about half of all away games.

Where do you sit? Either the Town End behind the goal or the Don Rogers Stand.



What happened in your last match?

DW: We got our season back on track by beating Play-Off rivals Bournemouth 2-0 away. If we'd lost that I was ready to throw the towel in - we'd be too far adrift with more games played to realistically make the cut. As it is we've still got a chance.

DM: Not a lot! We were awful against Bury in Tuesday night's 1-0 loss, our first defeat in 14, easily the worst performance in a very long time. Based on that, Coventry will fancy this.

Why is this game important?

DW: It's been a turbulent season, which started off miserably before we made a fantastic charge to within sniffing distance of the Play-Offs and Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Predictably things have gone a bit wrong in the past few weeks. We lost our Wembley trip to Crewe Alexandra and our manager to Huddersfield Town. If we want to make the Play-Offs now we've got to win 90 per cent of our remaining fixtures.

DM: We've been without a manager for the last two weeks and so it has been important to stay in the mix at the top. Since Paolo di Canio left we have really struggled, so it's been a case of trying to grab points here and there under Darren Ward and Tommy Miller until a new manager takes over. We're still in with a shot at the top, but we need a new manager.

How do you see this game going?

DW: It's going to be a really tough game but Swindon aren't having the best of times at the moment either. Our away win at Bournemouth on Tuesday was a real confidence booster, but it's our home form that has let us down and we can't seem to keep a clean sheet at the Ricoh. Teams tend to come and challenge us to break them down and hit us on the break, and we don't seem to have worked out a way to combat this. I'm going to have to go for a 2-1 win to us, with Leon Clarke bundling in a late winner to keep our Play-Off hopes alive.

DM: Not well I am afraid, although I'm trying to remain positive. We are struggling performance-wise and I can see Coventry beating us. They have a good set of players and have been making good head way in the league, but they have had their own management problems since. We do seem to turn it on in away games, but I feel the events of the last week have taken their toll on our squad.

Who should we keep our eye on?

DW: Carl Baker's had a solid season but it's Leon Clarke who's doing his best to help us forget David McGoldrick. He's hit 20 goals this season - admittedly not all for us - but if he can keep scoring we've got a shot at the Play-Offs.

DM: If fit, Simon Ferry makes us tick in the middle - everything goes through him. If not, goalkeeper Wes Foderingham will be important. He's a great prospect for us.

Any memories of previous encounters?

DW: We haven't played a lot in the modern day. I went to the 1-1 draw in 1994 just before Swindon beat us 3-1 at their place - one of only five wins that season that ended with them relegated as the rock-bottom team. We've only played them once in the last 10 years, the reverse fixture this season when we threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.

DM: I remember mostly the away game in the Premier League, which finished 1-1. A 90th-minute equalizer from Andy Mutch sent us mental. It was a strange feeling not losing by a cricket score, and scoring away from home.

Score prediction?

DW: 2-1 to Coventry.

DM: 2-0 Coventry.

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