Ipswich oldies take on Coventry kids tonight

Last updated : 19 September 2011 By Covsupport News Service/RD

Andy Thorn takes his young Coventry City side to Ipswich today for this evening's televised game at Portman Road (7.45pm).

The game will be between two sides with differing philosophies,one side having age and experience while the other side is made up of younger, less experienced players.

Coventry go into tonight's game on a high after gaining their first win of the season last week with a 2-0 victory over Derby County. while Ipswich are struggling to gel with so many new faces in the team assembled over the summer by their manager Paul Jewell.

Andy Thorn is under  no illusion though that his task will be an easy one and is working hard to ensure his young side are as well prepared as possible. He is convinced that his young and exuberant side will be more than a match for the Ipswich side that has something like 12 players in their 30's in the squad.

Speaking to the CT, Thorn admitted, “Ipswich are ready-made with experience so it will be a tough game but I have got every faith in our boys. They have a good manager and players who have played in the Premiership and know their way around this division, so it will be a good test for us." 

“There is a big contrast. We’re trying to build a young team which takes time and we haven’t got time so we have been trying to push it along and we have got a good nucleus of young players who have got to learn quickly."

“I think what happened at Crystal Palace brought us on a ton because you can’t buy that experience. It wasn’t a nice thing but it made us wise up a lot quicker. There is nothing like having that experience under your belt and whether it is good or bad you know how to deal with it next time. "

“We had the Watford game after that and away to Boro and then Saturday, so I think we grew from it. Through the grey clouds I think we are coming out the other side looking a really good young side.”

Thorn does not have a large squad of players to call upon and has had to use some of the Academy youngsters in his first team, but he insist that they are in the team because they are good enough and not because of Hobson's choice.

He said: “The kids are in the team on merit and they are not coming out because they are young. If they have a dip and don’t play well that’s different but at the minute they are in because they deserve to be playing."

“People said it was a gamble when they went in at the start of the season and yes, it possibly was. In fairness I had no other options but they have nailed places down for themselves now and it is up to people to shift them.”

Ipswich have signed 12 new players over the summer, while Coventry have signed just two goalkeepers, Murphy and Dunn and one striker, McDonald. It is proving difficult for Jewell to get his new squad to play as a team and it has not yet gelled as he would wish. In contrast to City, Thorn has a tight knit group of players who have bonded well and who are playing well together.

Thorn was asked if this disparity could be to his advantage and he said, “It could do but we always do our homework so we know what they are doing. You look at the strengths and weaknesses and try to expose them. It helps when you have a settled side." 

"When we went to Birmingham they had a lot of new players and I thought we did well there and they didn’t really gel against us, and hopefully that will be the case again at Ipswich.”