Keeper capers for PNE’s opponents

Coventry skipper Jim O'Brien has scored four goals from midfield 'this season
Coventry skipper Jim O'Brien has scored four goals from midfield 'this season
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Coventry will be forced into a change of goalkeeper for their visit to Preston.

For obvious reasons, Jamie Jones is not being allowed to play for the Sky Blues by PNE, who loaned him out last month.

So it will be Lee Burge who pulls on the gloves at Deepdale, in his first game since November.

Burge’s last appearance came in the FA Cup against Worcester City when he was sent off.

Loan keeper Ryan Allsop then played in the league games which followed and when he returned to parent club Bournemouth, Jones arrived from North End.

Coventry manager Steven Pressley said: “I spoke to Lee when Jamie came in.

“I explained to him that one of the things you have to do as a manager is get it right when to put a young goalkeeper back in and I felt the timing wasn’t quite right.

“That doesn’t mean we haven’t got belief in him because we have great belief in him, But I have a duty to put him in when it’s right, and he understands that.

“He’s trained very well, although he sat out Tuesday with a slight issue with his knee, but he should be fine for the weekend.

“And it’s a brilliant opportunity for him.

“He’s worked hard after his disappointment at how he went out of the team but it’s how you respond to that, and I’m hopeful he’ll respond in the best possible way.”

Coventry come to Preston having won just one of their last eight matches

They have drawn two on the bounce, a goalless affair at Yeovil a fortnight ago and then 2-2 against Rochdale.

On target in the Dale game were new boys Sanmi Odelusi and Dominic Samuel.

Both are on loan, Odelusi from Bolton and Samuel from Reading.

Pressley hopes their arrival can boost the goals -for column – City have scored only 29 in 28 games.

“We have certainly tried to address the problem of our attacking threat,” said Pressley.

“And we are trying to bring a greater degree of speed and creativity into the side, and I hope that we can be successful.

“There were good signs of that at the weekend with the performances of Dominic and Sanmi and with the addition of the other players in the last few days, so I think it will give us a good threat and something I’ll be pleased with.”

Another loan signing made recently is Luke Williams from Middlesbrough.

He put pen to paper on deadline day and will be in the squad at Deepdale.

Williams, who had a spell on loan at Scunthorpe earlier in the season, said: “I’m really looking forward to the Preston game which is a massive one and hopefully I’ll get a start or get on.

“ It’s a really bubbly dressing room here and hopefully we’ll take it out on to the pitch.”

Defender Reda Johnson is Coventry’s highest scorer at the moment with five goals – four of them in the league.

Skipper Jim O’Brien has netted four from midfield while striker Simeon Jackson has three.

North End beat Coventry 2-0 at the Ricoh Arena in September, Tom Clarke and Joe Garner (pen) getting their names on the scoresheet.

Buoyed by the FA Cup replay win at Sheffield United in midweek, they will be looking for their first victory in the league since Boxing Day.

Lilywhites manager Simon Grayson said: “Coventry are a team who have suffered a bit over the last year or so – they lost two great players in Leon Clarke and Callum Wilson.

“They have been up and down with their results of late but they still have matchwinners in their side.

“Coventry have been heavily involved in the loan market over the last month or so – we know what their threats are and what they can do.

“We give respect to the opposition but we know what we need to do .

“What we need to concentrate on is our strengths, make sure we put in a strong display in front of what will be a really good attendance and good atmosphere.”