Sun, Aug

MICKY ADAMS is hoping Stern John will reassess his Trinidad and Tobago commitments as he thinks over his future at Coventry City.

The manager has not told the striker to quit playing for his country but he clearly thinks that, like Robert Page, his club career will greatly benefit from retirement from the international set-up.

"Stern has always struggled because of the fact that Trinidad have had so many games and he has always been playing catch-up, to a degree, in terms of his fitness because he misses so much training because of being on aeroplanes," said the City boss.

He is hoping to secure John's services on a new contract to take him beyond the summer when he would otherwise be able to leave the Ricoh Arena on a free transfer.

"He has got 100 caps now and given his all to his country and I think he realises that he has got a few more years left in the game and he has really got to establish himself somewhere, so why not do it at a place where he feels comfortable?

"I would not ask him to stop playing international football. It is a great for him to play for his national side but that will be his decision, as it was for Robert Page."

John's story in his first three seasons at Coventry City is one of a struggle to win over the fans, both here and at Derby County where he got a hard time on loan.

But he has steadily achieved that with his goals, superb ball control and increasingly committed performances to reach a stage where the supporters recently sang his name from the stands, calling for him to go on as a substitute.

"I always go back to my first few weeks and months here at Coventry when the fans were screaming that they wanted him off the pitch when he got booked.

"It is something I have never known before, except for possibly Greg Downs when I played here, but that was me shouting for him to come off!" said Adams, who is confident contract negotiations are going well.

"These things take time.

"I have got a lot of players out of contract in the summer but it is not a panic situation.

"We have expressed a desire for him to stay and Stern and his agent have expressed a desire to talk."

Stern John and his international teammates are still locked in a dispute with their country's football federation over payments they say they are due from the World Cup.

However, the matter is now in the hands of their lawyers and for the time being the players have called off their collective threat to quit the international set-up.