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STERN JOHN answered his Derby County critics in the best way possible with a vital double against them at the Ricoh Arena.


The striker notched Coventry's first two goals to spark Saturday's 6-1 humiliation of the club that rejected him during a three-month loan earlier in the season.

"It felt really good when the first goal went in," said the Trinidad and Tobago ace who was roundly booed by the visiting supporters, "but I had nothing to prove to the

Derby fans. I just want to go out and continue playing well for Coventry.

"I think I was unfairly treated at Derby and I am not going to hide the way the fans treated me, but the manager stuck with me after I didn't score for the first five or six games, so I am thankful to him for that.

"As a player you go to a new team and want to do well. I didn't do myself any favours going to Derby as an ex-Forest player and I had to try to get the fans off my back but it didn't work out that way."

And John even had a bit of sympathy for his former Derby team-mate Jeff Kenna who endured a torrid time against him and Dele Adebola, saying: "You could see again how the fans reacted to their own player, Jeff Kenna, who was disappointed, but that's just how the game is and you just have to get on with it."

Manager Micky Adams, who appeared to have lost faith in John at one stage this season, was delighted for his revitalised player.

"A lot of footballers and managers do a lot of talking in the media and the only right of reply is what you do on the pitch," he said. "Stern went to Derby and didn't play too many games. We all heard the reaction of the Derby fans before the game - I think fans should understand sometimes that booing certain individuals, as with Dennis Wise, only inspires them.

"We got off to the worst possible start and then came back into the game but I have got to be honest - I think I was as bored as the fans were in the first half. It was possibly the worst half of football I have seen from our point of view.

"Derby had a couple of chances so we went in at half time needing to sort it out. We needed to push further up the pitch, get closer to them and we did that, and got our rewards.

"Everyone pleased me in the second half, but I wasn't pleased with anyone in the first half."

He added: "The result puts us in good shape for the FA Cup, which we are looking forward to now. We are going to have a nice build up to it and it is a big, big game for us.

"The one sadness is that Dennis won't be able to play because he is suspended. Claus Jorgensen went down with a thigh strain on Friday so in terms of central midfield players, there is just Michael Doyle, but we will have to get on with it."

That is not strictly true, however, with Don Hutchison more than capable of playing in midfield and Kevin Thornton making an impressive comeback to the first team.

"The fans enjoy seeing Kevin," said the manager. "He is one of our home grown talents but I don't want to say too much about him because he gets big headed."