FOOTBALL: DEFENDER Chris Stokes has said he may not have been part of Coventry City’s upcoming League Two campaign had it not been for a positive run of results at the back end of last season.
The 26-year-old, who joined Coventry City on loan in 2015, signed a two-year deal with the club yesterday – and he’s hopeful a return to League One can happen within the next 12 months.
Stokes was part of the club’s concluding ten games of last season having been sidelined throughout early parts of the campaign with a knee injury.
His return to the first team, which coincided with the arrival of Mark Robins to the Sky Blue camp, saw Coventry win five of their concluding ten fixtures – a significantly improved run of form in comparison to fixtures earlier in the year.
And his return to the Ricoh is largely down to the club’s form since Robins joined in March.
The left back said: “Our form picked up at the end of last season, that’s probably why I’m here.
“If the season had carried on as poor as it was then I probably wouldn’t be stood here being a part of the upcoming season.
“There was a positive vibe at the back end of last season.
“It’s nice to be back playing and it was a good end to the season for me.
“Obviously relegation wasn’t good but given the time out I had it was nice to be back playing again.”
Stokes was part of the team which scooped the Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium in early April in front of more than 43,000 Coventry City fans.
The Wembley win marked 30 years since the club’s historic FA Cup Final triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in 1987.
Since that famous day, Coventry haven’t earned promotion from any division – but Stokes is confident that can be changed this year after being questioned about the six new players already signed up for the new season.
He said: “I’m very settled here.
“Yes we have gone down but with the players the manager has brought in I feel we have a chance of going back up and I want to be a part of it.
“Last season was tough for myself and the team. And this year will be tough too, it won’t be easy.
“League Two teams are very physical and we need to be ready for the challenge.”
“I’ve heard of the players we’ve brought in and I think it’s a good start. We’ll need bodies to help us get through the task.”