SKY Blues boss Steven Pressley was full of admiration for the club’s supporters after a sell-out crowd cheered is young side on to a narrow 1-0 win over Gillingham at the first match back at the Ricoh Arena for over a year.
On-loan striker Frank Nouble scored the only goal of the game on his debut to extend the team’s unbeaten run in all competitions to six.
And Pressley, whose side move up to eighth in League One, is hoping to attract another large crowd when the Sky Blues host Yeovil Town this Saturday.
He said: “I’m incredibly proud of this football club, of the fans and of the players. It was a night which showcased the potential of this football club.
“The players handled the atmosphere brilliantly and really showed some of the football they can play in the first half.
“I said to the players before the game that the scene is set but you see it all the time in football where the fairy-tale doesn’t come true.
“Gillingham showed that they could come here and spoil the occasion but the defence remained solid and kept their cool under pressure.”
Pressley also singled out wing back Ryan Haynes for individual praise following another impressive display by the teenager.
The 18-year-old old, who turns 19 later this month, was named man of the match against Gillingham and set up Nouble for his goal in the tenth minute.
“Our younger players handled the situation brilliantly,” Pressley added. “They’ve grown up in the city and they know what tonight means to the football club.
“Ryan Haynes was brilliant. He was a great attacking threat in the first half and we utilised him brilliantly but I felt we didn’t explore that option as much in the second half.
“He is a player the fans will know from when I gave him his debut when he was 16 and he was sixteen. He has evolved into a different player now and he has still got a long way to go.
“I hope the fans continue to turn up in their numbers. They had a huge impact tonight and we can only win games and play the right way to make sure they come back.”
Youngster Ryan Haynes put in a man of the match performance against Gillingham. 37.014.005.cov.jm29
Frank Nouble scored on his Sky Blues debt. 37.014.005.cov.jm18
Conor Thomas wins the ball back for the Sky Blues. 37.014.005.cov.jm37
Steven Pressley takes in the atmosphere. 37.014.005.cov.jm13