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Ricoh hero Dele Adebola insists that axed partner Stern John can still play a major role for Coventry City this season.

Adebola notched two goals on Saturday as the Sky Blues marked the first match at their £113 million arena with a 3-0 triumph against Queens Park Rangers, and manager Micky Adams hailed his combination with summer signing James Scow-croft as “terrific - everything I wanted from a pair of strikers.”

But Adebola, clutching his man-ofthe-match champagne, interrupted the celebrations to give a vote of confidence to under-fire John.

“When he’s on top form, Stern should arguably be playing in the Premier League,” insisted Adebola.

“The fans have been on his back a bit but I think they can see what he offers the team.

“It’s just unfortunate that the first few games didn’t go according to plan, but as the season progresses he’ll get to full fitness and you’ll see the best of him. It’s not just Stern; I haven’t been happy with all of my performances.

“It’s a long hard season and I think the manager will rotate his strikers. We’ve got a really good collection of forwards here now and whatever partnership he goes for I think will do well.”