Boothroyd to keep players guessing

30 July 2010 08:28
City boss plays cards close to chest Coventry City manager Aidy Boothroyd has said he won't tell the players who are likely to be his first choice until the season gets underway. Boothroyd had hoped to have signed a Premiership striker on a season long loan yesterday which would have made his line up easier to decide. However, the negotiations to bring in that elusive, X-factor striker fell failed yesterday, so Boothroyd has had to go back and to have a rethink over his strike options. Boothroyd is quietly confident that the new look Coventry City side is getting close to how he would like it to be, it is close, but not quite there yet. Boothroyd said, “I have a fair idea of who is going to start against Portsmouth but, having said that, anything can happen.” “It is far too early to tell what the starting line up is if you are a player, but for me I have got a fair idea of the specific ingredients needed to make that cake that can go on and do well in the Championship. “I have got a team in my mind that I want to play against Portsmouth and the team that starts against West Brom tomorrow will be close enough that people might think it is close, but not quite close enough that people will think it is the team.” Defenders Martin Cranie and Nathan Cameron are two players who have impressed the manager with their ability and commitment and would now be disappointed to miss out on regular first team games. “Martin played at left back on Tuesday night, having played in midfield, right back and centre back, and I thought he was outstanding,” enthused Boothroyd. “He is one of those players that because he is so good he can play anywhere and that becomes a problem for him because you have your starters in your mind, but I thought he was excellent at Shrewsbury, defensively sound and didn’t have a problem." " He takes things out of the air, he keeps the ball and can use his left foot, so wherever you play him he doesn’t have a problem and he is a really good player to have. He really impressed me the other night and he has pushed himself for a starting slot against Portsmouth which is the main game for us.” Boothroyd then turned his attention to Cameron, saying,  “Nathan at centre back is an 18 year old who I think is going to be a superb player and he has come into the team. What people will find about me as we go along if that I am really not too bothered whether a player is experienced, quick or technically good." "It is whatever fits the balance of the team and those two, over the last two or three games have not necessarily given me a problem, but excited me and they could start against Portsmouth.” Having praised two of his players, the City boss then went on to praise the rest of the squad in general, saying, “Everyone in this squad is going to be valued. It won’t be a case of this is the first team squad and the rest of you are mushrooms." "We have got a squad here and every single player will be needed to play a part at some point this season, and that’s why we train together and the boys that don’t perhaps start as many games have got to keep themselves right." Boothroyd issued a stark warning to the players saying, “I can’t have any sulkers or anyone moaning and wingeing about not being in the team because they could be at any second and they have to be ready." “If the players see the line up on Saturday and think they are not going to be in the team then they are probably right, but if they knuckle down and get on with it they might.”