SKY Blues midfielder Conor Thomas admits it was a huge blow to lose top scorer and close friend Callum Wilson over the summer but he is confident the club’s latest recruits are more than capable of achieving success next season.
Thomas came through the club’s academy with Wilson and defender Cyrus Christie and was saddened to see them both leave their boyhood club earlier this month.
But manager Steven Pressley has recruited no fewer than six replacements and he is hoping to bring in several more, including at least one more striker, before the start of the new season.
And Thomas says he has seen enough quality over pre-season to improve on last season’s 18th place finish.
“It’s a big loss for the club losing Callum.” Thomas told the Observer.
“He scored a lot of goals last year and made a huge contribution to the team but I’m really pleased for him.
“He deserves his move because he has worked very hard. He has had a lot of setbacks in his career but he’s managed to come back stronger and he fully deserves it.
“I have been impressed by the new players – they’ve been good.
“The squad is a bit small at the minute but we’ve had a few new players come in and everyone that’s come in has been really good so hopefully we can assemble a squad that we can build and hopefully get some success this season.”
Despite not coming close to promotion, last season was a success on a personal note for Thomas who made 50 appearances in all competitions in heart of midfield.
The 21-year-old formed a formidable partnership with John Fleck and he is willing to sacrifice personal plaudits for team success with the League One play-offs firmly in his sight next season.
“Every season you want to improve. We all want to push on and help the team as much as we can. We want success back at this club.
“We definitely want to be aiming for promotion – why not? We want to beat every team in the league and that’s the sort of mindset we’ve got to have.
“We want to bring success back to this club for the fans and in order to do that we’ve got to aim for the top.
“People that aren’t involved with football don’t realise how hard pre-season is but it’s been good to get back in with the lads and as soon as the first couple of sessions are out of the way you’re back into the swing of things, working hard and it’s good to be back.”
As for the club’s on-going off-field saga, Thomas has a clear message for the fans.
He added: “I totally understand what the fans are doing and why they are doing it.
“We fully appreciate the support, especially the away support. When the fans do come and support us in large numbers it makes a huge difference so we do honestly really appreciate all of the support that we get.”