Three more points against Millwall last Saturday made the Sky Blues safe from relegation for another season. The replacement of manager Aidy Boothroyd with caretaker boss Andy Thorn has galvanised the team and eleven points from six games has put Thorn in with a shout of being the next City manager. However with little or no news on funding or ownership changes any talk of a long term appointment is a waste of time. Since the tsunami of news when the new board were appointed three weeks ago things have gone quiet at the Ricoh and no-one has elaborated on the comments that Sisu’s latest transfusion of money would only last until the summer. HMRC and other creditors (including presumably the football club who were owed money that caused the transfer embargo to be enforced) have been pacified for the moment, but players will need paying through the close season as will HMRC for the PAYE liabilities. A permanent appointment is highly unlikely until Sisu’s longer term intentions are clearer or a new owner comes over the hill on his white charger. Frankly, if I was Andy Thorn I would be loathed to take the job until the fog around City’s future clears.
Marlon King became the first Coventry player to score a brace in two successive league games since Micky Quinn achieved the feat in 1992. Since then Dion Dublin (1997-98), Darren Huckerby (1998-99) and Cedric Roussel (1999-2000) have done it including a Cup game, in fact Huckerby scored successive hat-tricks against Macclesfield and Nottingham Forest but no-one has done it since the club were relegated in 2001. In 1992 Quinn had a golden period when he arrived courtesy of new vice-chairman John Clarke’s £250,000 donation. ‘Quinny’ scored ten goals in six games including three successive braces at Southampton (2-2) and at home to Liverpool (5-1) and Aston Villa (3-0). Marlon, now on 11 goals, could be on target to take McSheffrey’s record of the most league goals (15) in a season since relegation.
Days after Portsmouth’s Haydn Mullins became the first City opponent to receive a red card this season Millwall’s Neil Harris became the second, and the fastest ever at the Ricoh Arena, his expulsion being timed at 67 seconds after coming on as a substitute. The previous record was held by Michael Mifsud, sent off after 11 minutes against West Brom in 2007. I believe Harris is only the second opposition substitute to be ordered off at the new stadium, the other was Colchester’s Teddy Sheringham in 2008. The mild-mannered Claus Jorgensen remains the only City substitute to be sent off at the Ricoh, although another affable substitute, Brian Borrows, received his marching orders at St James’ Park in the late 1990s and Carl Baker ‘saw red’ at Millwall this season.
Harris joins a select group of miscreants to be sent off as a substitute against the Sky Blues including Clive Allen, the first in 1992, when playing for Chelsea, Trevor Benjamin (WBA), Nicky Summerbee and West Ham’s Steve Lomas.
City’s fastest ever red card was timed at 24 seconds and received by loanee Peter Clarke at Cardiff’s Ninian Park in 2004.