23rd Oct, 2017

Defying the odds is a fine effort

Coventry Editorial 2nd May, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

STEVEN Pressley described surviving relegation from League One as a ‘wonderful’ achievement but I believe what we have witnessed this season is a miracle, writes Observer sports editor Steve Carpenter.

While out in Kenilworth on the eve of the current season I bumped into development director Steve Waggott and club accountant Steve Brookfield.

Having worked out how many points would be needed and having looked and the strength and more importantly the depth of our squad, I made a bet with both that the Sky Blues would be relegated this season.

I will fully admit, my glass at the time was half empty and I’m slightly ashamed for betting against my own team but I had my reasons.

I’m a true Sky Blues fan having followed the club home and away pretty much my entire life but I’d also like to think I’m a realist.

The facts were there for all to see. Pressley’s side would start the season with a ten point deduction, the Scot was relying heavily on academy players, the team would be playing at Sixfields in Northampton and the continuing disputes between the club and Ricoh stadium owners Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) would drag on throughout the campaign.

But against all odds Pressley’s young side have guaranteed survival with a game to spare largely thanks to superb start to the season and the form of striker Callum Wilson, who this week deservedly made the League One team of the year.

It’s been a frustrating season on many levels for supporters and it’s not going to get any easier over the summer but the one shining light throughout the campaign is the positive attitude of the players, the manager and his coaching staff.

Academy graduates Wilson, Jordan Clarke, Conor Thomas and more recently Jordan Willis have clearly improved as players and I’m already looking forward to seeing the next batch of young stars come through.

Pressley and development director Steve Waggot have a difficult summer ahead.

Keeping the likes of Cyrus Christie, Franck Moussa and hotshot Wilson will be tough, as well attracting players to play in front of precariously low crowds at Sixfields.

But looking at the positives they can now trade without the threat of a transfer embargo and with no points deduction.

We’re on a level playing field next season and if Pressley can continue to develop the young players while adding a bit of experience to the side, I’ll be looking at making a more positive bet on the eve of the 2014/15 campaign.

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