A mad Coventry City fan and the sports editor for the Coventry Observer, Steve Carpenter will be expressing his opinions on the Sky Blues throughout the 2015/16 season. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarpo
IT’S BEEN just over 12 months since Tony Mowbray took charge of the Sky Blues and I’ve already seen enough to know that he can be the manager to bring us starving fans some success in the very near future.
One year on from Mowbray taking over the reigns from former boss Steven Pressley, he has helped transform the Sky Blues from a struggling League One side to one of the most feared outfits in the division.
Since his arrival results have changed much for the better. We’re no longer expecting another relegation battle or mid-table mediocrity. Now we’re expecting promotion and with that finally comes some excitement.
Gone have the days when we’ve been reluctant to even look at the league table because of our precarious position because now we’re mixing it with the teams towards the top.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Sky Blues beat Gillingham to go top and although a disappointing recent run of form has slightly hampered progress, we’re still sitting sixth, inside the play-offs with 33 games gone. If you’d have told me that this time last season I would have snapped your hand off!
Again when you put the slight blip from the new year to one side, it’s difficult not to agree that Mowbray has introduced an attacking brand of football that has finally got fans off their seats.
The recent 6-0 demolition of Bury, the 5-0 way win at Crewe and the exceptional opening 45 minutes at home to Gillingham are all up there with the best performances in recent years.
That is the standard that has been set by the current players which leads me on to Mowbray’s performance over the past year in the transfer window.
Undoubtedly one of his strongest attributes is an ability attract players of real quality, particularly on loan, with the likes of Adam Armstrong and Jacob Murphy both proving to be a masterstroke in the loan market.
Links have been built with high profile Premier League clubs, including the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle, and it’s refreshing to hear complimentary comments about the Sky Blues from the likes of former England boss Steve McClaren and Jürgen Klopp.
The arrival of Joe Cole too shows just how far we’ve come in the space of 12 months and Mowbray also deserves praise for bringing in his right-hand man Mark Venus who has also made a big contribution during his short spell here too.
In terms of Mowbray’s personality, he very much reminds me of one of those teachers at school who you could have a joke with outside the classroom and approach them about pretty much anything, but when it came to the lesson, you listened intently and were on your best behavior.
Ultimately like teachers, football managers are judged on results and Mowbray now has 13 games remaining to get the best out of his players and keep the promotion dream alive. PUSB!