Football: Olsen's video nasty

Wimbledon 1 Cort 67 Coventry City 1 McAllister pen 90 Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 10,635
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The Independent Online
EGIL OLSEN has started taking the train to Selhurst Park on match days because it is quicker than the car. Yesterday his team ended up in the sidings after Gary McAllister's late penalty cancelled out Carl Cort's 67th-minute goal.

If Olsen is something of an eccentric, he is a serious eccentric. Already he has asked for the conversion of a room at the training ground so he can use video analysis to get his ideas across to his players.

No doubt in the coming week Olsen will be busy with the remote control as he reflects on his team's inability to retain their concentration. None the less, the Norwegian, who had seen Wimbledon concede five goals in their previous two games of the season, said afterwards he was "more pleased" with his defence's performance.

To plug the defensive leaks the Norwegian coach had elected to field Trond Andersen, making his debut after his pounds 2.5m move from the Norwegian club Molde, instead of the Northern Ireland international attacking midfielder Michael Hughes.

Coventry's Gordon Strachan was delighted with the point. "My team deserved it. No one has more spirit than my team."

Maybe. But Strachan, if Coventry are going to pick up points, is going to have to address his side's lack of punch up front. McAllister, Noel Whelan and Mustapha Hadji combined well in midfield, but Coventry looked unconvincing in the final third. "We played terrific football until the final 20 yards," Strachan conceded.

Coventry, who had arrived in south London with no points and no goals, pressed forward as Wimbledon tried to find their rhythm in the first half. In the 27th minute Whelan picked up the ball wide on the left and bamboozled Kenny Cunningham before whipping the ball into the box. Hadji flicked on but John Aloisi, making his first full start of the season, was unable to force the ball home.

Strachan, who said Aloisi had turned in "nearly a great performance", is hopeful of signing a striker before the end of the week. "The team needs someone who is a threat when the ball goes in the box."

Egil Olsen's up-and-at-'em philosophy has been well documented, but one of the first half's more striking features was the dynamic dribbling of Marcus Gayle and Carl Cort. It was Cort and Jason Euell, a replacement for Robbie Earle, who conspired to give Wimbledon the lead. Euell flicked on and Cort scooped the ball past Magnus Hedman from a difficult angle to score his third goal of the season.

Coventry refused to lie down and, after Aloisi had been bundled over, McAllister's penalty ensured Strachan's side departed with a share of the spoils.

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