The Sky Blues have been in the play-off picture for much of the season, having dropped into League 2 at the end of last season.
Mark Robins, who led Coventry to Wembley victory in the Checkatrade Trophy final last April, has seen his side concede just 11 League goals – the best defensive record in the division. They are not prolific at the other end though. Coventry’s 20 League goals so far is higher than just four clubs (including Reds).
Coventry were dealt a major blow in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Stevenage when 20-year-old striker Jodi Jones suffered a season-ending cruciate knee ligament injury. Jones has scored five goals and created several others and is highly regarded at the Ricoh.
Robins said: “It’s a blow for him as a young player as he is a talented boy who is becoming a growing influence and someone who is great to work with, so it’s a setback for him in his young career.
“It’s going to be difficult for him to come to terms with the injury and the surgery which will follow and then how long he will be out and the rehabilitation that comes with it.”
Reds will be making their fourth trip to the Ricoh on Saturday and looking for their first win. Richie Barker’s side lost 3-1 there in November 2012 despite a goal from Billy Clarke and on our next visit in October 2014 Reds came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with goals from Gwion Edwards and Izale McLeod.
Last season we went down 1-0 to the Sky Blues in the Checkatrade Trophy second round. We also played Coventry during their season in exile at Northampton in January 2014. Again, Reds fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Jamie Proctor and Andy Drury (pictured above) scoring in the last seven minutes at Sixfields.
In contrast, our home record against the Sky Blues is good with wins in April 2013 (2-0) and August 2013 (3-2). Connor Essam and Clarke were on target in the first ever meeting between the clubs and we kicked off the following season with goals from Jamie Procter, Joe Walsh and Mike Jones after the Sky Blues came from 2-0 down with six minutes to go.
Our only defeat at home came in May 2015 when a 2-1 loss condemned Reds to League 2. Mathias Pogba put Reds ahead in the 49th minute but Coventry scored twice in the last 17 minutes to ensure their survival. Of the 18-man Crawley squad that day only Jimmy Smith remains at the club.
Saturday’s game will be Crawley’s 358th in the Football League. We will be looking for our 124th victory.