Positivity based on decent performances tends to wane when they’re not backed up by results. Having largely matched two of the division’s strongest sides over the past week, we head into this trip to Charlton only one point better off and winless in our past three games. This will be another test, but a win would not just be welcome, it would quell the rising anxiety around the club.
Tuesday night’s showing against Portsmouth can be read in one of two ways. The first is that we kept the league leaders quiet for most of the contest and had chances to win the game ourselves. The second is that it was another occasion where we struggled to test the opposition goalkeeper despite seeing a relatively large amount of the ball.
The return of Conor Chaplin for this game should inject the attack with more purpose than was on display against Portsmouth, however, he is now five games into his Coventry City career without scoring from open play. It underlines the big issue with the team at the moment that even our most promising player is still in need of a goal to legitimise his efforts.
Injuries in defence are likely to leave us with a makeshift back four featuring a right-back at left-back and a youth-team centre-back at right-back. That being said, the former, Dujon Sterling, has looked impressive in his supposedly unnatural position, looking much more willing and purposeful going forward on his, purportedly, weaker side. We’ve seen very little of Jordon Thompson to assess what he can do at first-team level but playing him out of position doesn’t seem the best way to bed in a youngster, he’ll have to be protected by his team-mates.
While Jodi Jones has been fit enough to feature from the bench in the past two games, it’s really too soon to be rushing him back into a starting role. Hopefully, Jones’ presence on the fringes of the squad will at least put the onus Jordan Shipley and Luke Thomas to step up with goals and assists. We cannot afford to put pressure on Jodi Jones this soon into his recovery from such a serious injury.