City set for Cal­lum cash

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FOOTBALL - By ANDY TURNER

CITY fans have snapped up more tick­ets than Wal­sall sup­port­ers for Satur­day’s FA Cup first round tie at the Banks’s Sta­dium.

As it stands, the Sky Blue Army could out­num­ber the Sad­dlers’ home sup­port af­ter City have sold 2,539 of their near 3,000 away al­lo­ca­tion.

As of yes­ter­day lunchtime, Wal­sall con­firmed that a to­tal of 3,822 tick­ets have been sold for the game, in­clud­ing those pur­chased by the Coven­try faith­ful.

That means the Sad­dlers have only sold 1,283, around half the num­ber City fans have pur­chased with just a few days to go be­fore the big lo­cal derby.

Wal­sall’s bid to get more bums on seats is not helped by the fact that they slipped to their fourth League One de­feat out of five on Tues­day night when they lost 2-0 at home to Charl­ton Ath­letic.

That will hardly in­spire the home fans who are on a run of five con­sec­u­tive games at the Banks’s, mak­ing for an ex­pen­sive spell for non-sea­son ticket hold­ers who may be pick­ing and choos­ing their games. Dean Keates’ side started their slide in form with a 2-0 de­feat at Lu­ton, swiftly fol­lowed by a 3-0 thump­ing at Southend United.

A 3-2 home vic­tory over Wy­combe Wan­der­ers got them back to win­ning ways but they lost 3-1 at home to Bur­ton on Satur­day and fol­lowed that up with their mid­week loss to Charl­ton. City’s in­creased to­tal away al­lo­ca­tion is 2,926 while so far this sea­son the Sad­dlers have av­er­aged crowds of just over 4,000 for their open­ing eight League One matches.

Tues­day night’s at­ten­dance, how­ever, dipped below that mark to 3,719. And man­ager Keates ad­mits his side have to get back to ba­sics when they en­ter­tain the Sky Blues in the Cup this week­end.

“There is no point in me pa­per­ing over the cracks, they are go­ing to be low on con­fi­dence – one win in five is not great on the eye,” he said, speak­ing to the Ex­press and Star. “We have got to strip it right back. Mo­men­tum in foot­ball is mas­sive, we were on a good run at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son – they were get­ting pats on their back. Now we have to take the rough with the smooth. We had a good start but now the ta­ble has bal­anced out and we are sat mid-ta­ble. We need to strip it back and get back to ba­sics. First and fore­most we need to get out there and put a shift in for the club.”

andy.turner@reach­plc.com

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