MARK Robins will be the next manager of Coventry City, we can reveal.
We exclusively revealed Russell Slade’s departure as first team boss earlier today.
We have learned Robins’ appointment will be confirmed by the Sky Blues tomorrow.
It marks a return to the Coventry job for 47-year-old Robins, who left the club in 2013 for Huddersfield Town, having transformed the Sky Blues within months to promotion contenders.
He and the Yorkshire club parted company the following year, and he later had a stint at fellow League One club Scunthorpe United, where he was sacked in January last year.
He was a fans’ favourite in his six months at Coventry but was equally quickly resented for leaving for Huddersfield.
Coventry ‘relieved’ Slade of his first team duties earlier today, after his record at Coventry of a single victory in 13 League One starts.
The former Orient, Cardiff and Charlton boss Slade, aged 56, was unveiled as Coventry manager on December 22 last year to replace interim boss Mark Venus, initially until the end of the season.
He was tasked with pulling the Sky Blues clear of the relegation zone, with the team then second from bottom, in 23st place, in League One.
He came in with a reputation for achieving success in the lower divisions on low budgets, and with experience of managing other clubs where there were protests against the owners.
Coventry City are now rooted to the bottom of the table (24th place), 13 points adrift of safety.
A much improved performance in the 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury yesterday followed two crushing blows for the Sky Blues’ League One survival hopes – the 3-1 reverse at home to relegation rivals Swindon last week and a 2-1 defeat at Bury on Tuesday.
Slade’s League record for Coventry City stands at: Played 13; Points 7; Won 1; Drawn 4; Lost 8.
With 11 games to play, many fans have felt relegation is now all but a forgone conclusion. The team, which began the season under Tony Mowbray without a win in the first ten games, have only won five league games all season.
Robins is tasked with having to win the vast majority of those remaining games under a new manager if he is to avoid the drop to the fourth tier of English football.
It is not clear whether he is being brought in with a view to planning for next season too.
The former Manchester United and Norwich City player has also managed Rotherham and Barnsley.
Robins will also now be in charge for the Checkatrade Trophy Final, in which Coventry City are going to Wembley for the first time in 30 years on April 2, against Oxford United.
Slade spoke with the Coventry Observer last week about his disappointment over not being able to bring in targeted players in the January transfer window, notably strikers and attacking midfielders who ultimately chose to go to other clubs.
Among the players he did bring in, midfielder Callum Reilly and striker Stuart Beavon have been judged successes by many, but Slade himself last week spoke of inconsistency in the performance of his team, including the defence.
Slade also spoke in an interview with us last week of lacking “the tools for the job”, and he said lots of minor changes needed to be made on and off-the-field to enable the club to move forward on solid foundations.