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Clarke Confident Ahead Of Coventry Clash

23 August 2013

Tom Clarke says North End can go to Sixfields Stadium with confidence on Sunday, as the squad prepare to face Coventry City.

Although the defender admits it’s going to be a difficult game against the Steven Pressley’s side, he thinks the Sky Blues’ leaky back four is one reason to be optimistic ahead of the match. 

“Its going to be a difficult game, we’ve watched little bits on them and they’re a team that are in form and scoring goals, but also conceding a few,” he told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview.

“So hopefully we can go there with confidence and can get a result.”

After a torrid time for Coventry over the summer, which saw the club enter administration, the Sky Blues were forced to move from their previous home, the Ricoh Arena, and ground-share with Northampton Town, 35 miles away from the City.

And Clarke hopes PNE can benefit from the unfamiliar surroundings, especially if the Preston fans are out in force on Sunday afternoon.

“It must be difficult for them playing in a different stadium and probably not all of the fans are turning up to it,” he said.

“Hopefully our fans turn up in numbers and make it more of a home game for us, because it’s an away game for both teams really.

“We’ve just go to go there and treat it as a normal game and hopefully the fans turn up and get behind us.”

Last season, Coventry striker Leon Clarke impressed enough with both Scunthorpe and the Sky Blues to earn himself a place in the League One team of the year.

The forward has continued his good form this season, scoring three goals in his last two games, and Tom insists North End are well aware and prepared for the threat Coventry’s strike force poses.

“The front four are dangerous, pace and power,” he said.

“They’re a team that close down well and press high but they’ve conceded a lot of goals and that’s something that we’ve spoken about and hopefully our strikers can get a few goals past them and we’ll see what happens.”

North End manager Simon Grayson will have a full strength squad to choose from, except for Jack King who remains on the sidelines after successful surgery on his foot this week, and the 25-year-old Clarke admits the gaffer has a welcome selection headache.

“It’s unfortunate that Kingy got the injury, we’d have had a fully fit squad,” he said.

“But we’ve got good strikers and the manager’s got a great choice of frontmen to choose from and we need them to be firing on all cylinders so it’s nice to have them all back really.”

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