The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By James Owens

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.

PIC­TURES: Mike Capps / kap­pas­

ALL SMILES: Rochdale’s Calvin An­drew cel­e­brates his equaliser

BATTLE: Rochdale’s Jamie Allen has the ball



L Covent


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