Boothroyd Cools Interest In Left Back Chase

Last updated : 13 January 2011 By Covsupport News Service/RD

Stephen O'Halloran started the FA Cup game last week at left back, a position the at has caused Coventry City manager Aidy Boothroyd a few headaches over the last few months.

Boothroyd has had to play a variety of players out of their preferred position because of the lack of a fit or experienced enough left back. Martin Cranie and Richard Wood filled in admirably, but too often they were found lacking by pacy wingers attacking them.

Boothroyd had admitted that he was looking to bring in a replacement left back in the January transfer window, but the performance Stephen O'Halloran gave against Crystal Palace was enough to make his manager think again.

Bothroyd has continually been linked with a move for one of his former players at Colchester United, Marc Tierney, but it would appear now that any interest has cooled and the defender is now likely to sign for Championship rivals Norwich City instead.

Boothroyd confirmed to the CT: "The one position that I was seriously thinking about was at left back because we have obviously not had a recognised one there, but the fact that Stephen came in and did so well on Saturday, when I thought he brought a different dimension to us, has given me food for thought really."

O'Halloran has been injured for most of the time he has been at Coventry City and his back problem must be a concern for the manager, but the 23 year old former Aston Villa defender managed to play the entire 90 minutes of the cup game without suffering any ill effects.

"His return is a bonus and we have just got to keep him fit now, " said Boothroyd.

"We will continue to keep a close eye on him because he has not played for a long while, along with Martin Cranie, but I have seen nothing at all that is cause for concern."

The City boss was delighted with the way O'Halloran played on Saturday and is now rethinking his game plans with thoughts on how he can best use the attacking left back.

He said, "Stephen gives us more flexibility in our attacking options. The lads who have gone in there have done very well but they're not left backs. We've had either a centre half or a right-footed player there and that does affect you."

"It's made us extra keen to get the ball forward. It's not about the long pass or the short pass it's about the right one or the wrong one and in the last few games we've picked the wrong one a lot."

"It makes a massive difference when you've got a player who's very good one-on-one and comfortable to get on the ball and pick passes; it stretches the opposition, gives them different things to think about."