Coventry defender Matthew Pennington insists that his side need to worry about themselves and points will come at home. The Sky Blues have won their last 3 away from home but have been struggling at home since their return to the Rioch this season. Pennington can’t put his finger on why they have been performing at home but has asked for the fans to “get an atmosphere going and make the Rioch like a fortress“.
- Home Form – P19, W5,D8,L6 F22, A28 – 23 out of their 46 points
Coventry have only 1 win in their last 10 home matches against MK Dons and have found it hard to collect points in front of their home fans. Tony Mowbray spoke ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Leyton Orient stating that “the overall match day experience is different at home, a 35,000 seater stadium with 8,000 of our fans spread out around the stadium“. He continued with “when away sides bring 1,000 or more fans they all sit together and create an atmosphere“.
But recent away victories against sides around the top 6 in Peterborough, Chesterfield and Fleetwood has helped lift them to 17th, 3 points above the relegation zone but Mowbray is “conscious of where Leyton Orient are and that they are a decent side“. Coventry face 5 of the bottom 7 in their remaining games but Mowbray did state that “it isn’t the end of the world if we don’t win. We need to be organised, compete all over the pitch and see if it is enough“.
- 3 wins in their last 4 games – all away from home (Peterborough 1-0, Chesterfield 3-2 and Fleetwood 2-0)
Pennington’s approach was different to his manager’s “it is important to get the 3 points tomorrow, push them (Orient) back into the relegation zone“. He added “We don’t want to give them any confidence and or any glimmer of hope“. Pennington is on loan from Everton, playing 18 times in the League for Coventry, and has described it “as a big week, we have 2 important games that can breed confidence, we have shown that we can beat any side in the league“.
- Coventry run in: Orient (H), Notts C (A), Colchester (H), Oldham (H), Bristol C (A), Crewe (H), Crawley (A)
- Orient run in: Coventry (A), Gillingham (H), Crewe (A), Doncaster (H), MK Dons (A), Rochdale (A), Sheffield U (H), Swindon (A)
Orient travel to the Rioch after a morale boosting 3-1 home victory over Port Vale on Saturday and know that a win can take them out of the relegation zone. The O’s were second best in much of the first half with Vale unlucky not to score more goals. O’s boss Fabio Liverani put it down to nerves “we were a bit scared in the 1st half but I’m am very pleased with the performance in the second half“.
Orient were dominant after Vale were reduced to 10 men, hitting the post twice and missing the second of their penalties but took the lead with an own goal “We did get a bit of luck with the second goal so I don’t think we’re indebted to luck“. Orient play before everyone of their nearest rivals and could heap pressure on sides around them with a win at the Rioch. Orient chairman Francesco Bechetti has laid on free coaches for his fans to try and create an atmosphere in Coventry.
Fabio Liverani recently set 53 points as the safety mark with his side needing 11 more to hit that mark. Jake Taylor made his debut for the O’s on Saturday after joining on loan from Reading and praised Orient’s character “the win was a perfect start to my career at Orient, scoring 3 goals and coming from behind shows character in the squad“. He added “it is a massive win for us, it puts us in good form for the next game. There are 8 big games and we hope we can do the job”
- Orient came from behind to beat Vale 3-1 on Saturday – Only Orient’s 3rd win in 21 after conceding the first goal – 11 points from 63 available
Orient will be without Ryan Hedges and Jobi McAnuff who are still away on International duty but Lloyd James did return from his broken leg on Saturday with David Mooney expressing how big a character he is. “Great to have Lloydy back, great character around the place and great energy in the dressing room“. Taylor and Mooney both hinted at Orient’s desire to survive relegation:
Taylor “If we perform like we did in the second half, I think we will be fine. We are looking forward to the next 8 games hoping to come out with a positive outcome and keep Orient in League 1, where they belong”
Mooney “Wednesday’s game is massive, we play before everybody else, maybe get the jump on them if we get a result, all systems go for that game and hope to put on a performance”
Mowbray is aware of the O’s threat going forward
“They have talented individuals and we shouldn’t take anything for granted and look after ourselves”. He continued “Orient are strong enough not to finish in the bottom 4, it will be a tough test that we will relish. We shouldn’t fear anybody but need to be mindful that we still need to win games”
- Orient’s record against bottom 9: P14 – W6, D3, L5 – 21 points
- Coventry’s record against bottom 9: P11 – W3, D5, L3 – 14 points
Orient have 3 very winnable fixtures up next and to give themselves the best possible shot of safety they need to take a minimum of 6 points from those games before a tough end of season run in. Orient will need to be weary of conceding the first goal at the Rioch.
- 10 of Coventry’s 11 wins have come when scored first – 4 out of their 5 home wins
- Only won 1 in 14 at home when conceded first – 3-2 victory over Peterborough
- Only Walsall have drew as many games as them in the League (13)
- Only Fleetwood have drew as many home games as the Sky Blues (8)
- Last 2 victories been achieved with clean sheets – only 4 clean sheets at the Rioch
- 11 clean sheets for the season with 6 of their 11 wins in those games
The sides drew 2-2 at Brisbane Road earlier in the season with Jim O’Brien netting a brace including an injury time equalizer back in November. Coventry ended Orient’s unbeaten run at the start of last season with a 3-1 win at Sixfields but Orient won their last trip to the Rioch in 2012/2013, 1-0 with Dean Cox scoring the winner.
- Orient have won 4 of the last 6 meetings – 1 was on penalties in the JPT
Coventry look set to be without Reda Johnson, James Maddison and Marcus Tudgay with the game coming too quick as they recover from injuries. Mowbray may not want to change a willing formula but did admit after the victory at Peterborough “We are in a situation where we have to win games, today the defenders played 1 touch and cleared the ball, we waited for our chance and took it. It was back to basics but we will take the three points”
It will be a tense affair at the Rioch with an Orient win, it could take the East London side to a point behind Coventry and continue the Sky Blues’s look over their shoulder below. But Coventry could take a closer step to survival with a win ahead of a trip to Meadow Lane to face Notts County on Easter Monday.
Odds: Coventry 9/5 , Draw 23/10 and Orient 6/4
Orient to win 2-1 is 17/2 with Mooney 6/1 to score first
Coventry to win 1-0 is 15/2 and Frank Nouble to score first 11/2
Prediction: Coventry 1-2 Leyton Orient