Tony Mowbray resigned from his post as manager of Coventry City Football Club on Thursday morning after overseeing his side draw 2-2 with AFC Wimbledon at the Ricoh Arena just 12 hours earlier. With the Sky Blues firmly rooted to the foot of the SkyBet League One table with no wins from their opening ten fixtures, the former West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough man confessed that he is no longer the right figure to lead the club forward.
Speaking to the media after the fixture versus the Dons on Wednesday night, Mowbray said:
“I won’t be a burden for this club. I won’t hang around for too long if we don’t win football matches. I won’t expect to be paid if I decide to leave. They can reinvest the money I currently earn as a football manager.
“I know this club needs every penny. I am an honourable guy and I will make some decisions, talk to the people above me. I have worked with Mark Venus for over 20 years so me and him will sit down and see what’s right.
“I am not a quitter by nature. I just want to make sure this club has the best chance. I only came here to get this club out of this league and yet ten games we are bottom of the league and a long way from promotion. And yet I do see some shoots of hope.”
Following his resignation, City’s media channels have confirmed that Technical Director Mark Venus will take responsibility of first team duties whilst the search for Mowbray’s successor is ongoing.
I genuinely feel sorry for Mowbray, he’s a very knowledgable figure that is well respected in footballing circles, but I am not surprised to see him part company with the Sky Blues. When he was appointed in March 2015 I was thoroughly delighted that we had attracted a manager with such stature, but after a superb start to life in Coventry, it hasn’t quite gone to plan for him. With the lack of resources and the constant tremblings of discontent surrounding the club’s off-field situation, it was always going to be tough for him to deliver.
After securing survival with a 2-1 away victory over Crawley Town on the final day of the 2014/15 campaign, it was incredible to see the transformation made last term. Granted, we eventually fell out of the play-off picture after leading the way at the top of the pile with 18 games played, but Mowbray made us believe as a fanbase – something we haven’t been able to do for well over a decade. Although his tactics were questionable at times, he provided us with some of the most enthralling football we’ve witnessed in recent years. For that, I thank him.
This season, however, has been a stark contrast thus far. Losing a host of key players during the summer left Mowbray with a threadbare squad and he has failed to replace the likes of John Fleck and Adam Armstrong. With meagre wages and a club in turmoil to offer to potential new recruits, he understandably missed out on a number of targets in the transfer window and we are now suffering the consequences. Naive defensively and limited going forward, it will be a long, hard season for the Sky Blues.
With the search for a fresh face to take over the hot-seat beginning immediately, it will be intriguing as to who we bring in. Will we try and lure an experienced League One manager to the Ricoh or will we take the cheap option? Whoever is chosen will have a tough job, but one that will be made slightly more bearable due to the foundations Mowbray has left behind. Reintroducing a scouting network and tying players down to longer term contracts, for example, have been something he has been adamant about in order to (attempt to) rebuild this once proud football club.
In reality, us supporters know that regardless of who takes the reigns, it is going to be a rollercoaster ride. The club as a whole is in an awful position – effectively homeless and at danger of going out of business if things continue in the current fashion. I am really hoping that it’s just confidence that’s lacking amongst the players and that a proverbial kick up the backside will turn things around, but the burnt bridges away from the pitch make that barely fathomable. We’re hardy characters us Coventry fans, but it’s torturous following the club at the moment.
On a final note, I’d just like to personally wish Tony Mowbray all the best in his future endeavours. He is a very honourable man that can leave with his head held high. His goal of promotion wasn’t achieved and due to that I have no doubt that he’ll be disappointed, but he did the job to the best of his ability under the circumstances. Similarly to when Steven Pressley was in charge, I desperately wanted him to do well but things fizzled out in the end. Sorry to see it end this way, Mogga.