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NEW manager Mark Robins will be hoping to extend improving Coventry’s unbeaten run to a fourth game during tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round tie at York City.

Robins ended a run of 14 League games without a win, stretching back to the end of March, during a 1-0 victory at Oldham last month and that result has triggered a run of seven points from a possible nine to lift the Sky Blues out of the League One relegation zone.

A draw against MK Dons was followed up by another 1-0 triumph over Bournemouth at the weekend in former Manchester United striker Robins’ fifth match at the helm following Andy Thorn’s dismissal and the temporary joint reign of Richard Shaw and Lee Carsley.

Said Robins: “We want to progress in the competition – you’ve got to try to win it.

“I'm not thinking this is a distraction because it’s an opportunity for us.”

The early-season upheaval has seen Coventry already use 27 different players this term with goalkeeper Joe Murphy the only ever-present in the League.

A total of six loan players are currently on the Ricoh Arena club’s books with one always missing out on selection as only five are permitted in any matchday squad.

One of those temporary signings – Nottingham Forest striker David McGoldrick – is the club’s joint-top scorer with three goals, all of which have come in the last four matches.

His fellow leading marksman Cody McDonald, though, is ruled out tonight with a knee injury.

The visitors will also be without defender William Edjenguele (hip) and midfielder Connor Thomas, while Gary McSheffrey remains doubtful due to a foot injury.

Kevin Kilbane is available again after a foot injury although the future of the 35-year-old winger – the Republic of Ireland’s third most-capped player behind Shay Given and Robbie Keane – is unclear under Robins after he was left out of the squad completely against Bournemouth.

French centre-back Kevin Malaga will definitely play no part against the Minstermen, having been transfer-listed.

Robins has signalled his intention to field a strong side for the second round tie and, if he is true to his word, may only make one change to his starting line up with on-loan teenage Derby striker Callum Ball replacing Adam Barton, as he did at the interval on Saturday.

Coventry have struggled for goals all season and have only scored more than a single goal in a League match once this season against fellow strugglers Bury.

In the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, the 1987 FA Cup final winners beat Burton 10-9 on penalties with the tie having ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.

Coventry (probable): Murphy, Clarke, Wood, Cameron, Reckord, Baker, Bailey, Moussa, Ball, McGoldrick.


Match facts

This is Coventry City’s fourth visit to York and their first since August 1959.

The clubs first met in the FA Cup in 1937/8 when they were paired in the third round.

At the time, City were mid-table in Division Three North with Coventry joint leaders of the Second Division (Championship).

In front of a then Bootham Crescent record crowd of 13,917, City pulled off a giant-killing feat by winning 3-2 with Sammy Earl, Peter Spooner and Jimmy Hughes the scorers.

In the late 1950s, the clubs met in succcessive seasons in the Football League.

In 1958/9 in the Fourth Division, City lost 2-0 at Highfield Road and the return game at Bootham Crescent in March 1959 was drawn 0-0.

Both clubs were promoted and the following campaign met in the Third Division.

On August 29, 1959, the fixture ended 1-1 with Charlie Twissell on target. The line-up was: Granger, Ramsey, Howe, Battye, Jackson, Mollatt, Hughes, Edgar, Farmer, Alexander, Twissell.

The attendance was 9,412.

Later that season, Coventry won 5-2 at home in the return match.

It happened on October 9

1948: A 5-1 home win in the Northern Section over Wrexham with Matt and Alf Patrick each scoring twice. Bill Allen was the other scorer in front of a crowd of 10,611.

1954: Arthur Bottom was the marksman in a 1-1 draw at Gateshead and playing his last senior game was long-serving defender Percy Andrews.

1958: Fourth Division leaders City won 2-1 at Northampton Town with Peter Wragg and Colin Addison, pictured, on the scoresheet.

1965: A 2-2 home draw against Queens Park Rangers in the Third Division (League One). On target were Billy Rudd and John Pearson watched by 6,553.

1970: In the Fourth Division, City beat Southport 2-0 at Bootham Crescent with Albert Johanneson and Phil Boyer the marksmen watched by a crowd of 3,694.

1972: Barry Swallow netted the goal in a 1-0 home victory over Blackburn Rovers in the Third Division (League One). The attendance was 3,428.

1999: Leyton Orient were beaten 2-1 at Bootham Crescent thanks to two goals from Barry Conlon. The crowd for this Third Division (League Two) encounter was 2,320.

2007: A 2-0 home win over Stafford Rangers watched by 1,784. On target were Daniel McBreen and Stuart Elliott.

Compiled by David Batters