Following the convincing 4-1 victory versus high-flying Gillingham at the Ricoh back in November, plenty of people were looking at The Sky Blues as firm favourites to secure a place in the Championship for next season. That result saw Coventry leap to the summit of League One. However, fast forward a few months and they sit 5th and 11 points behind Burton Albion who occupy top spot. Many are wondering, has the dream of automatic promotion been quashed?
Many factors have led to Tony Mowbray’s side falling away from the top two, none more so than injuries, but all hope is certainly not lost. Of course, supporters will be dissapointed that their team aren’t running away with the league, but we are still in with a great shout. As Mogga said himself, we have to be wondering why we aren’t top. Certain things haven’t gone our way and we are where we are – that’s football – but the optimism should firmly remain.
If we look back at our league defeats this season, can you honestly say we were outclassed in any of them? The only game whereby I believe we thoroughly deserved to lose was at Southend. On that day we were abysmal, but that’s the only time I’ve walked away this term thinking ‘we were shocking today’. Fine margins often dictate results in football games, and in the other losses we have been punished for stupendous mistakes and lapses in concentration. Despite that, I am yet to see a side that has looked better than us, and that may sound like a ludicrous statement. We’ve just shot ourselves in the foot on too many occasions.
Our main downfall thus far has been conceding ‘soft’ goals. You’ve only got to look at Swindon away and the home fixtures versus Doncaster and Oldham. If we had managed to see out just those three games, we would be sitting in 2nd place with an extra 6 points to our name. It’s easy to focus on the negatives though, especially after the last few seasons at the club, but mistakes are expected with us having such a young squad.
The fact that we have endured a spell of only 3 wins in 13 games following that triumph over Gillingham and we are still in the mix is testament to us, though. As I’ve already stated, everyone at the club will be gutted that we didn’t prolong our stay in the top two, but who’s to say we can’t force our way back in? 45 points are still up for grabs and nobody knows what will happen in the final third of the season.
We went through a patch of undesirable results, but so can anybody. Burton look likely to win the league but it’s not set in stone, they could fall away like Leyton Orient did in the 2013/14 season. It really is crunch time now and it’s exciting. As supporters, we need to enjoy being involved in the promotion race and we’ll see what comes of it. We are used to relegation dogfights so this is alien territory for us really.
The improvements made this season have been astonishing and they have been down to Tony Mowbray and his backroom staff. A new life has been injected into Coventry City and fans are proud to support this great club once more. We have to use the positive energy to back those lads in sky blue and ensure the hard work doesn’t go to waste. This year still has the makings of one to remember .
One aspect of our game that has filled me with hope recently has been our defending. Admittedly, Reice Charles-Cook and his back four weren’t exactly busy during the demolition of Bury, but we look to have regained some organisation. Another master stroke by the manager has allowed us to bring in the promising pairing of Baily Cargill and Jack Stephens, with both looking like very astute acquisitions. Their ability on the ball certainly fits with our style of play and more importantly, they look very efficient when defending.
In my opinion, over the past couple of games we have seen two elements that could still win us promotion if they are combined. Against Port Vale, we defended phenomenally well and if it wasn’t for a wonder strike we would be boasting another victory. Then, on the flip side, the way we attacked against Bury was sensational. To score 6 goals in any game is a remarkable achievement but we were clinical, unstoppable in fact. When you look across the division, it is difficult to find a side with a better forward line than ourselves.
Providing we continue to restrict teams from attacking our goal, I will always back us to beat anyone in this division. Our attack is truly frightening and it’s no coincidence that we have recorded the highest number of shots on target in English football. If we keep creating chances at such a rate, we have no excuse not to win football matches.
That demolition of Bury could be pivotal in our quest for second tier football. Following a testing period, that might just be the boost that we needed to reignite our season. People are believing again, and why shouldn’t they be? We are only 2 wins away from 2nd place and we still have Wigan and Gillingham to play. Those our both massive fixtures no doubt, but we have to take each game as it comes. I have every faith in Tony Mowbray.
A newly found buzz has been unearthed through our successes so far this term and our support has been incredible. We, as fans, still have a huge part to play though. Games can be influenced by supporters and we’ve got to ensure that we assist the players in this final push. We’ve been crying out for success for what seems like an eternity, let’s make the dream become reality. Promotion would be a step in the right direction in terms of getting the club back where it belongs, it’s up to us to secure it whether it’s automatic or via the play-offs.