I never thought I’d see Coventry City in such a perilous place as they were on judgement day of last season. With just 90 minutes to go until the season was over, the Sky Blues could still sink into the forth tier of English football, only 14 years after they were a top flight club. In truth, manager Tony Mowbray was there savour. A genius appointment after Scot Steven Pressley was controversially sacked in February. Pressley had previously taken the cash strapped club to a more than creditable mid table finish. But with relegation becoming a bigger and bigger fear with every day that past he was dismissed and in walked the former Celtic boss.
Ipswich Town loanee Frank Nouble led the line for last years Sky Blues, but Tony Mowbray will be without the powerful centre forward after he returned to Portman Road. For now, Coventry have just one senior striker in their 24 man squad, after Simeon Jackson and Shaun Miller headed for the exit doors. 32-year-old Marcus Tudgay was hampered by injury throughout the season but will be expected to lead the line this time around. Influential captain Jim O’Brien become a firm fans favourite with his wing wizardry and wide range of passing. And former Rangers box-to-box midfielder John Fleck will be The Sky Blues midfield master, who is still only 23 despite making in access of 100 appearances for Coventry. For me, these are the three key components to what could be a huge season for what is unquestionably a big club.
Last season’s captain Reda Johnson also spent time on the treatment table I his first season at the Ricoh. The commanding defender was limited to 20 appearances on average scoring a goal every 5 games, including two on his debut against Bradford City. Impressive for a defender that looked so out of sorts in his final few months with Sheffield Wednesday.
The 27,000 plus crowd that attended the Ricoh return game on the 5th September proves that the Sky Blues still have that big club feel around the area. Mowbray is a prodigious manager that knows his way around the football league, and with players such as Jim O’Brian and Marcus Tudgay in your squad plus the youth and exuberance that fill sin the spaces, Coventry are not far away from a return to the Championship. Everything is in place for the big return and if Tony Mowbray can fine tune his team to the demands of League One, I see no reason why this year can’t be their year.