Bristol Rovers v Coventry City Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers face Coventry City on Boxing Day in a competitive fixture for the first time since 1964.

The Gas met the Sky Blues in a friendly match in 2014 but that was when Rovers were about to enter the Conference, now they are in a higher position in League One than their upcoming rivals.

Rovers sit 12th in the table and go into the game still in a run of bad form, winning just one match in their last six in all competitions and just three in their last 11 but manager Darrell Clarke has an unbeaten record when it comes to the Christmas period.

“The Christmas period has been good for us over the last two seasons”, Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“We have four games coming up very quickly and there are 12 points up for grabs. We know we need to get our form back. We have to get back to the basics after what was a very flat performance at Shrewsbury last weekend.

“We have to take each game one at a time and not look to far ahead. All I will say is that we’d like to come out the other side with a fair share of those points that are available.”

Coventry are now languishing in 23rd place after losing their last six league games but the Sky Blues have now appointed a new manager in Russell Slade and a win on Boxing Day could move them up and out of the relegation zone.

Slade will be in charge for the first time on Boxing Day and insists that he cannot wait to get started.

“This football club has got a fantastic tradition, but it has lost its way at this moment in time. We’re not in a great position. But that is why I am here, I want to help,” Slade told the club’s website.

“I’ve had my first session with the lads and they all had a great attitude this morning, let’s hope we can turn that positivity on the training ground in to results on the pitch.

“The reality is we’ve got 18 or 19 weeks to get as many points as we can, we’ve not got a second to waste. What we can’t do it make excuses, the only people who can do anything about it is the players – with the support of the staff.

Rovers will be without Jake Clarke-Salter who continues his recovery from a fractured arm and Steve Mildenhall is still out with a knee injury. Other than this Clarke has no injury problems.

Stats

This is the first time the two sides have met since 1964 but will be the 40th time the sides have met.

Both Rovers and Coventry have 15 wins each with nine draws but Coventry one the last encounter 1-0.

The sides have never met in League One.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 40/92 clubs in England and counting.

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