FOOTBALL: Black Ready to Fill Void Created by Absent McAllister; Burnley V Coventry City

The Birmingham Post (England), December 13, 2003 | Go to article overview

FOOTBALL: Black Ready to Fill Void Created by Absent McAllister; Burnley V Coventry City


Coventry City will discover this afternoon the extent to which they will miss Gary McAllister's influence on and off the pitch, writes James Nursey.

City's player-manager stood down on Thursday for the foreseeable future to spend time with his wife Denise who is fighting illness.

Consequently, assistant manager Eric Black will take charge of the Sky Blues at Turf Moor.

McAllister leaves Coventry 17th in Division One but the team will not only miss his tactical knowledge but also his ability on the pitch as well.

The 38-year-old Scot is a vastly experienced midfielder after spells at Liverpool and Leeds United and he was still performing to a high standard this season at Coventry.

Black said: 'It is a massive loss but the decision has been made and we have to come together and move forward.

'We have just got to get on with things now. We have got games to be played. We respect Gary's decision and go forward.

'The players have been told and I am sure they will be wanting to win games for the gaffer and make things easier for him.

'I'm flattered to be considered competent enough to take things forward and I'll certainly do my utmost to do just that.

'We've got a lot of good people here. [Reserve-team boss] Gary Mills and [goalkeeping coach] Alan Hodgkinson are both experienced individuals.

'I've got experienced players as well so we're looking forward to getting a response from them in the next game.'

At least it is not the first time Black has taken charge of Coventry, after covering for McAllister earlier in the season when the manager took some time off for personal reasons. …

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