NEW BOYS IMPRESS PRESSLEY
COVENTRY City boss Steven Pressley singled out the injection of pace provided by loan signings Dominic Samuel and Sanmi Odelusi as the key to the Sky Blues’ bid to improve their home form.
Pressley’s men are still without a league win at the Ricoh Arena since late October, but Samuel and Odelusi, who joined on loan from Reading and Bolton respectively in the week, both scored on their debuts.
The duo’s goals came either side of a long-range equaliser for Rochdale from Callum Camps in the 33rd minute.
20 year-old Samuel had put the Sky Blues ahead nine minutes earlier, scoring his first senior goal with an emphatic finish from just outside the box. The parity was short-lived, with Odelusi restoring Coventry’s lead just four minutes later as he fired into the bottom corner from distance.
Keith Hill’s men rallied in the second half, and their efforts were rewarded six minutes after the hour when first-half substitute Calvin Andrew nodded home from close range at a corner.
But Coventry boss Pressley remained upbeat after the match, and was especially pleased with the impact of his two debutants.
“I spoke this week about transitional play, and I think especially in the first half it was really evident that we were much quicker on the counterattack,” the former Scotland international said.
“Dominic’s finish was sensational. It was terrific play from Frank Nouble to put Jim O’Brien through, and typical striker’s play from Dominic, following things up with a wonderful finish.”
But Pressley felt that the half-time withdrawal of Reda Johnson due to a thigh problem was decisive in Coventry’s failure to defend their lead.
“With Reda Johnson not coming out, the one area where we were a wee bit short was height. They had a height advantage on us and it told with the corner kick, so that was disappointing.
“But I think the ingredients are there. We can work hard this week again with the two players that have come in and get them absolutely in tune with what we want.”
Rochdale boss Hill, meanwhile, felt Dale’s second-half display could have been enough for them to take all three points on another day.
“We gifted two goals to them. I won’t complain about the great finish- es from Samuel and Odelusi, but they were the result of us giving away possession, so I was disappointed with that,” Hill said.
“But there is a lot of the game that I am really pleased with – the fighting spirit.
“The second-half performance was outstanding. On another day I think we win it.”
And Hill reserved special praise for teenager Camps. “He’s a great player. We’ve got to get the balance right between success in the league and developing players,” he added.
ALL SMILES: Rochdale’s Calvin Andrew celebrates his equaliser
BATTLE: Rochdale’s Jamie Allen has the ball
STAR MAN DOMIN