Nalis strikes for Levein as Coventry crumble

Leicester City 3 - Coventry City 0
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The Independent Online

Lilian Nalis, Leicester City's man for a new era, pointed Craig Levein towards a comfortable victory in his first home game.

Lilian Nalis, Leicester City's man for a new era, pointed Craig Levein towards a comfortable victory in his first home game. The Frenchman, who scored in his team's first win of the season and then claimed the opening goal of Levein's reign last week against Crewe, got forward from midfield again to break a nervous deadlock.

Such was the paucity of their neighbours' challenge that Leicester were coasting just after the three-quarter mark without being utterly convincing.

"We didn't make it hard enough for them," said the Coventry City manager, Peter Reid. "I don't think the players gave me everything and that's disappointing. We didn't have the stomach for the battle."

Levein had urged his players to embrace the pressure of performing at a stadium at which they had won only once in eight attempts this season. Yet he witnessed a subdued start, with Coventry's Luke Steele threatened only by a routine Matt Heath header from Keith Gillespie's corner. But after Heath had halted Gary McSheffrey at the other end, the Scot was on his feet celebrating a 27th-minute lead.

Gillespie, one of the players for whom new management has meant a new start, made the running and Peter Canero's cross was only half-cleared by Adrian Williams for Nalis to rifle home a low right-foot drive from 22 yards.

This was another uncomfortable night for Reid. A run of one win in 12 has left the relegation places too close for comfort and visiting fans were venting their anger before the deficit doubled on the stroke of half-time.

Once again the defending was lamentable as Jamie Scowcroft helped the ball on to David Connolly following Kevin Pressman's long free-kick. Florent Laville's clearance was sideways and inadequate, leaving Danny Tiatto to sweep in right-footed from 15 yards. It was the Australian's first League goal for two-and-a-half years.

Reid, having made two substitutions at the interval and a third before the hour, saw Michael Doyle's shot superbly pushed wide by Pressman and Jordan Stewart clear well from McSheffrey. But Heath, helped by Steele's ill-judged advance, thundered in a header from Gillespie's 71st-minute corner to make it three before Rohan Ricketts rattled the outside of Leicester's post from 25 yards.

"We are looking for a positive mental attitude and what was important was that we carried on the improvement from the Crewe game," Levein said. "We need to make people scared of coming here because the only people who have been scared previously has been ourselves."

Leicester City (4-4-2): Pressman; Canero, Dabizas, Heath, Stewart; Gillespie (Morris, 76), Gudjonsson, Nalis (Gemmill, 88), Tiatto; Connolly, Scowcroft. Substitutes not used: Logan (gk), Dublin, Makin.

Coventry City (4-1-4-1): Steele; Leacock, Williams, Laville (Shaw, h-t), Giddings; Deloumeaux (Suffo, h-t); Morrell, Doyle, Hughes, Wood (Ricketts, 58); McSheffrey. Substitutes not used: Shearer (gk), Staunton.

Referee: M Clattenburg (Co Durham).

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