Match Preview Extra: w/Dominic Jerams
With Rovers set to face Coventry City tomorrow afternoon at St. Andrew’s, we sat down with Dominic Jerams of Coventry site SidewaysSammy.com to get the low down on our next opponents for the very first edition of Match Preview Extra.
Dominic can be found on Twitter @SideSammy and has been writing about his beloved Sky Blues on the site since 2013. The website is named for former midfielder Sammy Clingan, an alumnus of both Coventry and Doncaster having spent three years with this weekend’s rivals and a couple of months on Lakeside in our League One title-winning season of 2012/13.
You can read Dominic’s preview of the upcoming game here, whilst our own dedicated ITEN Match Preview is available here. Read on for our Q&A discussing Coventry’s start to the season, a familiar face in the ranks and more.
ITEN: Unbeaten in nine games and 2nd in the table, it’s been a great opening two months for Coventry. What have been the main reasons for such an encouraging start?
I’m not sure I can quite put my finger on it. We have been good, but not particularly outstanding, tending to do just enough to keep the points ticking over with different players stepping up with goals and performances at key intervals. We’ve probably benefited from having a fairly friendly opening fixture list but there is still something to be said for beating the weaker teams in the division – which we struggled to do last year – we’re now set to find out how we’ll cope with the better teams.
ITEN: Despite being exiled from your home once again, it’s five wins out of five in Birmingham so far. How do the fans feel about playing at St. Andrew’s?
Compared to our spell in Northampton, feelings are generally more supportive as it feels to a larger section of our fan-base that this was a situation, at least partially, forced on the club rather than out of choice. Still, it remains a divisive issue between those who want to get behind the team and those who cannot countenance seeing their club playing outside its home city with no way back currently looking feasible.
Personally, I’m mainly going as I live in Birmingham, so it’s a much easier trip to games than it was for games at the Ricoh Arena. While the match-going experience itself is familiar – with the old school football ground setting of St Andrew’s helping things in that regard – I would still rather be losing games in Coventry than winning them in Birmingham.
ITEN: Marko Marosi faces Doncaster for the first time since swapping Rovers for Coventry in the summer. How has he settled in to his new club?
It’s hard to assess Maroši thus far as he hasn’t been tested that much due to the nature of our defending. The main thing he’s had to do is distribute the ball from the back, his accuracy and composure in his kicking has been fairly impressive, one or two notable lapses notwithstanding. His command of his area looks his biggest deficiency but hasn’t been particularly costly for us yet. It has been a solid start, although it still feels like we’re yet to find out what he’s all about.
ITEN: Who do you consider Coventry’s biggest threats for this game?
While we have spread our threat through the team fairly effectively thus far this season, there are still two players who stand-out as our biggest threats.
Matt Godden in attack has added a level of sharpness in the final third that we were desperately lacking last season. He is perhaps a little isolated at times as a lone striker, but he is someone who can influence things once he’s involved in the game.
Our other key threat is Aston Villa loanee Callum O’Hare in midfield. Like Godden, there’s still question marks about whether we’re currently using him probably as a slightly deeper midfielder than he’d like to be, but he is an absolutely electric footballer. With an excellent touch and skill with the ball to drive through defences, the comparison with Jack Grealish extends beyond that they’re from the same club and have similar haircuts.
ITEN: Finally, are you confident of victory against Rovers?
It looks set to be a good game between two fairly similar and evenly-matched teams. I’m rarely confident of victory anyway, but our unbeaten run only makes me believe that we are due a loss somewhere. Against a Doncaster side that has done well against some of the division’s better teams thus far this season seems a logical end to the run.