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Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Coventry coach Phil Maynard expects close local derby

Coventry Rugby

Coventry director of rugby Phil Maynard is predicting a close derby against Birmingham & Solihull on Saturday.

Maynard told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: "There'll be no side running away with this one.

"It's a local derby. Form books go out of the window. It's all bets off and roll up your sleeves time."

The fixture at the Butts Park Arena sees sixth place Cov take on their local rivals, who are third from bottom in National One.

But Maynard believes the Bees are better than their position suggests: "They've got a well drilled and organised front five, a very good back row and a reasonable back division so they are a good all round side."

Cov will go into the game on the back of a heavy defeat at Fylde when they conceded five second-half tries but Maynard is confident his team can bounce back. "We'd like to think we can do better and this Saturday we've got every chance of doing that," said Maynard, "I think we've got to be focussed.

If we get a big crowd and they get behind the team we can win this game

Phil Maynard

"We've got to get back to basics and we've done that this week. We haven't dwelled on that 40 minutes at Fylde although we try to learn from it."

Coventry are hoping the lack of a Coventry City football fixture at the weekend will boost the attendance and Sky Blues season ticket holders can get reduced admission.

Maynard believes a good atmosphere would help his team; "When the crowd get behind you it gives you an extra impetus and that's what we're looking for this Saturday.

"If we get a big crowd and they get behind the team we can win this game as we can win every game."

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