THURSDAY’S season-defining game against Rotherham United at the AESSEAL New York Stadium has everyone raring to go, says Sky Blues skipper Liam Kelly.
Coventry City, placed 21st at present, could put a huge gap between themselves and 22nd-placed Rotherham – who occupy the final relegation spot – with a victory in South Yorkshire, regardless of the Millers’ backlog of Championship fixtures.
As far as recent form and head-to-head history is concerned, Coventry can have plenty of reason to be optimistic going into the six-pointer, considering Rotherham’s struggles of late.
United are winless in three and lost the reverse fixture 3-1 at St Andrew’s in December, with a Championship fixture against QPR on Tuesday night bringing a real headache for Paul Warne to manage the fatigue of his troops effectively before taking on the Sky Blues just 48 hours later.
For Kelly, whose side will be fresh going into the clash following last Saturday’s 4-1 humbling by Bournemouth, the commitment levels of his teammates will be decisive in deciding the fixture.
“We have got a hungry team, a team that is fighting for survival and we are going to give it every single bit of energy to make sure that happens,” said the 31-year-old.
“There have been plenty of tough games since I have been here – the playoff final and big games leading up to getting ourselves top of the league.
“We need to make sure we have that mindset again.”
A key factor, the Coventry skipper adds, will be City’s composure in the final third – something which let Mark Robins team down in last weekend’s Cherries defeat.
“They are a good team [Bournemouth], on another day one of them hits the post or whatever and we can get back to 2-2 but they have got good players and took their chances, they were ruthless,” Kelly added.
“We need to take some of that into Thursday night as we need to be ruthless in front goal and make sure we take our chances to put ourselves in the best possible position to win a game.
“It is about realising the importance of this game, it is a cup final, we have got to do everything to get a result and it is going to be a tough game.”