Lowdown on Crawley Town's next opponents - Coventry City

Coventry City boss Mark Robins
Coventry City boss Mark Robins

Crawley Town travel to the Ricoh Arena tomorrow - and we spoke to Andy Turner, football writer for the Coventry Telegraph, to get the lowdown on how the team are doing this year.

What were Coventry's pre-season aspirations and how are they doing in comparison?

Mark Robins set his stall out from day one in the summer that he expects promotion back to League One at the first attempt, preferably by one of the three automatic spots. He claimed only the other week that he believes City are the best in the division (despite having just lost to Mansfield at home) and continues to have faith that his team can achieve their ambitions. Play-offs are a minimum for him and as far as the fans are concerned and they are currently on course, sitting in sixth place.

What is the latest team news for Saturday and likely starting XI?

Key midfielder Liam Kelly had to go off after 20 minutes against Stevenage on Tuesday night with on-going bone bruising to a foot, which makes him a doubt and leaves 20-year-old Academy graduate Ben Stevenson on standby to fill in. Star forward Jodi Jones (five goals and numerous assists) is the biggest concern. He was stretchered off at the Lamex on Tuesday night and went to hospital to be assessed. As of Weds we are still no clearer as the the seriousness of the injury to his left knee, but he has to be a doubt for the weekend.

Veteran striker Stuart Beavon has missed the last two with a hamstring strain. On a brighter note, first choice right-back Jack Grimmer is expected to be available again after sitting out the last two games due to suffering concussion against Mansfield.

Leading scorer Duckens Nazon (on loan from Wolves) is available again after serving a one match suspension.

Poss line-up (4-2-3-1): Lee Burge; Jack Grimmer, Jordan Willis, Rod McDonald, Ryan Haynes; Ben Stevenson, Michael Doyle; Devon Kelly-Evans, Marc McNulty, Jordan Shipley; Max Biamou.

Who is the manager and how''s he doing?

Mark Robins is in his second spell with the club, having had a short but sweet stint in 2012/13, and returned to the club in March after Russell Slade was sacked, sadly too late to save City from relegation. He did, however, oversee the club's success in lifting the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley - the first success the club have had in 30 long and miserable years since winning the FA Cup in 1987.

He's doing a decent job so far with a new squad that has found it hard to get consistency to their results and, more worryingly, score goals. That is balanced by the fact that City have the meanest defence in the division, having kept ten L2 clean sheets to date and conceded the fewest amount of goals.

Who is Coventry's current star man (inc exact position) and why?

Jodi Jones plays wide of the forward three, usually on the right but often swaps flanks several times during the course of a game. He has electric pace and outstanding skill. Lincoln manager Dan Cowley said he was the best player in the division after Coventry beat his side last weekend.

Striker Duckens Nazon (seven goals to date) is also a big fans' favourite. He's strong, muscular and mobile and likes to pick his spot from just out or inside the box.

Name us another ‘one to watch’ (inc exact position) and why.

'Concrete' Rod McDonald has been outstanding at the back. The centre-half joined from Northampton in the summer and has forged a solid partnership with Jordan Willis.

Midfielder Michael Doyle is also an inspirational skipper who returned to the club in the summer after helping Portsmouth to the L2 title.

What’s the manager’s favoured formation and style of football?

4-2-3-1 - He likes to play a decent passing game and attack with pace. He plays with two sitting midfielders who effectively screen the back four, although some feel that limits the creativity in midfield. They're exciting to watch when they find their rhythm but have struggled time and time again to break down teams who turn up at the Ricoh and park the bus.