Round-up: Déjà vu for Adams as Coventry stumble

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The Independent Online

In one of his seasons as a Coventry City player, Micky Adams, the new manager of the Coca-Cola Championship strugglers, recalls having to win the last three games of the season to stay in the top flight. If the Sky Blues' present decline continues, he may need to inspire his players to a similar feat if they are to stay even at this humbler level.

In one of his seasons as a Coventry City player, Micky Adams, the new manager of the Coca-Cola Championship strugglers, recalls having to win the last three games of the season to stay in the top flight. If the Sky Blues' present decline continues, he may need to inspire his players to a similar feat if they are to stay even at this humbler level.

Viewing the first half of their 2-1 home defeat by Queen's Park Rangers from the discomfort of the Highfield Road stand while caretaker manager Adrian Heath took charge of the team, Adams could stand no more, took the half-time team talk and watched the second half from the dug-out.

"After the break we were much more like we will need to be if we are going to retrieve this situation," Adams said. "We had them on the back foot for most of the second period, it was a much better team performance in terms of work rate and wanting to play."

Ady Williams did indeed soon cancel out Jamie Cureton's first-half opener, but George Santos's last-minute winner, barely scrambled over the line, left Coventry just one place and three points above the relegation places.

It was equally nervy among the leaders, where none of the top five won. Second-placed Wigan Athletic needed a double strike from Lee McCulloch to earn a home point from a 2-2 draw with an under-strength Watford, whose minds might easily have been on Tuesday night's delicately poised Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Liverpool.

"We made a lot of changes and it was magnificent," Ray Lewington, the Hornets manager, enthused, "a great performance against a very good side. The ones I left behind all think they're playing [in the Carling Cup game] but every one of them put in a claim today to play on Tuesday."

Speaking of Liverpool, their FA Cup conquerors, Burnley, lost 2-0 at Cardiff City. "A travesty," the Clarets manager, Steve Cotterill, reckoned.

Elsewhere, Preston North End moved into the play-off places after they beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0 at Home Park, Chris Sedgwick and Patrick Agyemang scoring on the break, replacing Millwall, who lost 2-1 to Wolves at the New Den. Seyi George Olofinjana put Wolves ahead, but the Lions' player-manager, Dennis Wise, equalised with a disputed penalty. The South Korean Ki-Hyeon Seol, the best player on the day, won it with a 90th-minute strike.

The three sides in the relegation places were all away yesterday and only the bottom two, Rotherham United and Nottingham Forest, had any-thing to show for their efforts. The Millers earned a point from a 1-1 draw at Crewe Alexandra, while Forest's Paul Gerrard saved a Leon Knight penalty in their 0-0 draw at Brighton. Gillingham meekly lost 2-0 at Leicester City.

In League One, the leaders, Luton Town, were held 0-0 at Colchester United but second-placed Hull City lost 1-0 at Doncaster Rovers. Scoring feat of the day was by Juan Ugarte, who scored all Wrexham's goals as they won 4-2 at Chesterfield.

Lastly, Gary Johnson, the manager of League Two leaders Yeovil Town, who turned down the Coventry job to finish his work in progress at Huish Park, saw the Glovers beat bottom club Cambridge United 2-1 to open up a three-point advantage at the top.

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