It has been a busy month so far for Coventry City with regards to transfer dealings, and Kevin Foley became the club’s fourth signing of the January window on Friday afternoon. After his short-term deal at Charlton Athletic expired recently, Russell Slade pursued his interest to bring the 32-year to the Ricoh Arena. Foley, a right-back who played under Slade at The Valley earlier this season, joins the Sky Blues until the end of the 2016/17 campaign and he will fill the void left by the departing Jamie Sterry.
The Sky Blues’ squad has been lacking in experience all season and that has undoubtedly contributed to our poor league position. Slade has recognised that fact and is looking to correct it accordingly, and this is another deal that suggests he is doing so. Similarly to Nathan Clarke, the manager obviously trusts Foley having put his faith in him before and he is proven throughout his career. His attitude has also been praised and it is a pleasant feeling knowing that we are strengthening our team in the physical sense too.
Shipping late goals has been our downfall of late, but players like this who have a wealth of experience will aid our cause. Being regarded as a no-nonsense defender, I believe he very much fits the bill for this division. When you are down there scrapping for every point, these are the types of characters you need around the place. I have said for a while now, we have a lot of technically talented players who aren’t prepared for the physical rigours of League One football. We are now beginning to even the balance between youth and senior professionals.
Naturally, when players reach a certain age, people start to doubt their fitness levels. However, Foley has made around 20 appearances already this season for Charlton so he seems to be in good shape. He was also a key part of a Wolverhampton Wanderers outfit that won promotion to the Premier League back in 2009 so that proves he is more than capable of competing at this level. It has certainly been a positive transfer window thus far – fingers crossed it stays that way.
I believe that we are starting to look a lot better as a team and Slade has really impressed me over the last few weeks. His pragmatic approach to management should see us grinding out results and he seems very proactive away from the dugout. Even if we are forced to sell a few of our prospects, I trust him to recruit and fill any gaps. His grasp of this division is commendable and that is something that stands him in good stead.
Tony Mowbray was a pleasure to have at this football club, but like some of his predecessors, his knowledge of the third tier was somewhat limited. I now feel like we are finally being set up correctly in terms of our style and Slade has had a huge part in that. We are ditching the possession football to a certain extent and replacing it with more grit and aggression. Over the last few years we have been accused of being weak – it seems as if that is finally starting to change…