Mark Robins vows to make the most of rule change19 November 2020
Coventry boss Mark Robins believes the Sky Bet Championship's bigger clubs will reap the benefits of the new five substitutes rule. Under the new regulations – which come into force in time for the Sky Blues' match against Birmingham on Friday night – teams in the Sky Bet Championship will be able to make five changes from a pool of nine substitutes. EFL clubs voted to increase the permitted number to combat player fatigue, and Robins told Coventry's website: "The rule benefits the bigger squads and the bigger clubs without a shadow of a doubt, but it gives us another tool, we can work with it and try and make the best of it. "How people are going to use it remains to be seen. "It was brought in because of fatigue to players so you can take players off if they're really struggling, but you've got to have players who can come on and strengthen your team which is where it favours the bigger squads and bigger clubs." Coventry will still be without striker Matt Godden when they host their landlords at St Andrew's as he nurses a foot injury sustained against Nottingham Forest earlier this month. Midfielder Jordan Shipley is available after a period of self-isolation but Fankaty Dabo is a doubt after lower back and hamstring issues. Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka agreed with his counterpart. He told the Birmingham Mail: "I think the more quality you have the more chances you have to put good players on the pitch. "But it is true for the teams who can't afford more than 16/17 players it isn't going to be bad because you can rest five players in the last few minutes to defend and you can rest those other five for the following game." Blues are boosted by the return of George Friend and Kristian Pedersen for the match. The defensive duo missed the defeat to Bournemouth last time out, with Pedersen taking a knock to his head and Friend struggling with a calf problem. Chelsea loanee Jake Clarke-Salter is available for the first time.
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