Go down the Tube and come up smiling

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The Independent Online

Dig for victory? Coventry City went underground and came up with three points after a drama involving a coach, a manager, two Tube trains and a lad from Tooting.

Micky Adams, the Coventry City manager, must have been a fan of the mod revival in the Eighties. When he heard about the jam his thoughts immediately turned to going underground. He led his band of Sky Blues to the nearest Tube station to their north-west London hotel for a Championship game against Queens Park Rangers.

"None of the fans could believe their eyes when they saw us," he said. "We took a bit of stick from West Ham fans and Fulham fans, but our unsung hero was Jay Tabb." The lad from Tooting was the only one of the travelling band who knew they had to change at Hammersmith to get to Shepherd's Bush. "I feel a bit sorry for him as well," Adams said, "because I did not even put him in the team."

Tabb had to make do with an afternoon on the substiitutes' bench once the interpid travellers had walked down from the station through west London shoppers and football supporters to get to Loftus Road. That at least gave him a ringside seat as Coventry tied The Hoops in knots.

"We got to the ground at 2.20pm [for a 3pm kick-off], went on to the pitch and won 1-0," Adams explained with glee. The Tube trip and the late arrival was certainly a novel way of setting about collecting three points, especially since so many players and clubs put their faith their own special set of pre-match routines.

As Adams said: "Everyone talks about preparation, but this proves it is a load of nonsense."

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