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City out to reverse opening day trend

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:13 06 July 2010

City need to reverse a recent opening day trend if they are to get their season off to the best possible start. In the past 10 seasons, City have managed just one victory - and haven't even registered a goal on the opening day for the last three.

City need to reverse a recent opening day trend if they are to get their season off to the best possible start.

In the past 10 seasons, City have managed just one victory - and haven't even registered a goal on the opening day for the last three.

The last opening day success was on August 10, 2002, when Irishmen Paul McVeigh and Phil Mulryne bagged two apiece as Grimsby were thrashed 4-0 in front of almost 20,000 fans at Carrow Road.

But a year earlier it was a very different story as City went to Millwall full of hope and ended up on the receiving end of the same scoreline.

Ironically, City then went seven games unbeaten and finished the season at the Millennium Stadium, losing out on a place in the Premier League after Birmingham beat them in a penalty shoot-out in the play-off final.

A decade ago City drew 1-1 at West Brom and at the beginning of 2000-01 lost 1-0 at Barnsley. The contrasting fortunes of Millwall and Grimsby followed before a 2-2 draw at a sun-baked Valley Parade - although City were leading Bradford 2-0 with six minutes left.

That season ended in promotion as champions of the old First Division, but they failed to get the top-flight campaign off to a winning start when Darren Huckerby's superb opener against Crystal Palace at Carrow Road was cancelled out by Andrew Johnson.

The last time City started a campaign on home territory was in 2005 - but that was only by default, because Coventry's Ricoh Arena wasn't ready to stage what was due to have been an away game against the Sky Blues. It ended in a 1-1 draw.

Leeds beat City 1-0 on the opening day of the following season, followed by a 0-0 draw at Preston under Peter Grant and, last August, a 2-0 defeat at Coventry under Glenn Roeder.

OPENING DAY RECORD

08-09: Coventry 2 City 0

07-08: Preston 0 City 0

06-07: Leeds 1 City 0

05-06: City 1 Coventry 1

04-05: City 1 Palace 1 (Premier League)

03-04: Bradford 2 City 2

02-03: City 4 Grimsby 0

01-02: Millwall 4 City 0

00-01: Barnsley 1 City 0

99-00: West Brom 1 City 1

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