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Club News

LEAGUE ONE FOCUS: COVENTRY CITY

20 June 2014

Another victim of financial difficulties, Coventry City fans have had turbulent times supporting the Sky Blues in recent years.

Up until 2001, they had spent 34 years in the top flights of English football, overseeing the introduction of the Premier League in 1992, and they have not returned since.

The club’s relegation to League One in 2012 also marked their lowest status in 48 years, shortly after celebrating their 125th birthday.

They infamously relocated from the Ricoh Arena last year to play their home matches at Northampton’s Sixfields Stadium, some 33 miles away from the Ricoh, after refusing to pay the rent for their home stadium, as they entered administration. They started the season on minus ten points and they battled the financial burden to survive the League One drop. 

When they were still a Premier League team, City sold Robbie Keane to Inter Milan for an incredible £13m and spent half of that on luring Craig Bellamy from Norwich.

Their most famous success was the FA Cup, when they beat Tottenham 3-2 in front of 96,000 fans at Wembley. 

Manager: Steven Pressley
Scotsman Pressley has had a tough tenure to manage in his time with the Sky Blues. Since taking over in 2013, when his first game was a 2-1 win at Glanford Park, his first full season consisted of starting on minus ten points, increasing what was already a tough task.

Pressley has played for both sides of the Old Firm in a career which spanned nearly 20 years and saw him play more than 500 professional games.

It all started when the defender made his professional debut for Rangers in 1990, where he would play just 34 times in four years before Coventry won the race for his signature. He spent a solitary season in the Midlands before moving back across the border to Dundee United for £750,000, with Coventry recouping the £600,000 they paid for him 12 months earlier.

After Dundee United, he spent eight successful seasons at Hearts before a penultimate spell at Celtic and retirement followed his half-season with Falkirk.

Pressley, who has 32 caps with Scotland, spent time as an assistant manager for Scotland and Falkirk before he got the full-time post with the latter. After three years with the Bairns, he opted to take over at Coventry after Mark Robins’ departure. 

Key Player: Callum Wilson
Popular Sky Blues player Callum Wilson scooped a hat-trick of awards at his club’s end of season ceremony, to put the icing on a tremendous season.

The 22-year old scored 22 times in 41 games for the West Midlands outfit, to lead the sides’ scorers, eight in front of Franck Moussa.

After coming through their academy system, Wilson was loaned out to Kettering and Tamworth, spells which totalled five months and produced just two goals.

He has since spent his time breaking through at Coventry and a total of 55 appearances for the club have produced 23 goals- all but one of those came last season.

He scored against Crawley on the opening day of the season and he showed prolific form as, except from the end of the season, he never went more than three games without netting. Most forwards tend to have a dry spell at some stage in the season, and his came at the end, as he failed to score in their last six fixtures.

The goals tally saw him finish the season with the fourth in the league scoring charts and he has reportedly attracted interest from Championship clubs this summer and Coventry will be determined to keep hold of their homegrown star if they want to return to the Championship in the coming years.

Last season
The club’s season began in turmoil as they were deducted ten points, before a ball had even been kicked, for entering administration. The row over where they should play their home games continued as fans were dismayed by the decision to relocate to Northampton’s Sixfields Stadium. With this in mind, the Sky Blues had the division’s lowest average attendance with just under 2,400 fans, quite remarkable when you compare it with their 08/09 attendance of around 17,400 when they were at the Ricoh Arena.

Their season started in a determined fashion, losing just one of their first seven fixtures and Steven Pressley’s side were keen to make ground on their lower points tally. They showed consistency before Christmas and they looked like they may have made a play-off challenge, but their form in the New Year wasn’t good enough, as they strung too many losses together to mount a viable promotion challenge. 22 goals from Wilson, 14 from Moussa and 10 from Carl Baker helped ease the Sky Blues’ relegation worries as they swept aside the points deficit and played some entertaining football under Pressley, showing a glimpse of what they are capable of in 2014/15.

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