Coventry City have nothing to play for when they head to Stoke for the last match of the season other than a final three points to secure as high a finish in the Championship as possible.

There are the bragging rights, of course, against a relatively local rival and a duty to the Sky Blue Army to put on one last entertaining show to reward those supporters who have shelled out their hard-earned cash to follow the club the length and breadth of the country again this season.

The highest the Sky Blues can finish is tenth in the division with 66 points, which would be an 11 point and six place improvement on last year. Failure to beat the Potters could see them finish as low at 16th, depending on results elsewhere, which Mark Robins will clearly want to avoid, given that’s where they ended last season.

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So what does he do at the Bet365 Stadium this weekend? Play his strongest team from the start or give peripheral players like Jodi Jones, Fabio Tavares, Josh Eccles and Jordan Shipley the chance to stake a claim for next season?

Asked if the fixture, which is also relatively meaningless to Michael O’Neill’s mid-table men other than the same motivating factors for Coventry, is an opportunity to play some of his fringe players, Robins told CoventryLive: “I want to win. I always want to win games and we have not won for a few now, so that’s the disappointment. But we have to be winners more often and that’s something we will be working on.”

Interestingly, Robins did leave out his two Chelsea loan players against Huddersfield, with Jake Clarke-Salter and Ian Maatsen both unused subs on the bench, albeit the latter had missed last Friday’s training session with illness.

But given the fact that both are heading back to their parent club in the summer, there is a case for Robins to once again pick his own players over those who are not expected to be at the club next season.

“I think the Chelsea lads were disappointed because they didn’t play, and that’s something all the players have felt this year,” said Robins.

“It’s difficult for some but you don’t want it to be easy for them, but you want that atmosphere to be right because you are all in it together. It’s not just about individuals and how many games they are going to play in the season. It’s about how many games do they deserve to play this season. How long can they be fit for selection, because that’s ultimately what you’re after.”

What would you like to see Robins do with his team selection to face Stoke? Have your say in the comments section below…





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