21st Jan, 2018

John Fleck praises midfield partner Romain Vincelot after best season yet with the Sky Blues

Steve Carpenter 26th May, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THERE remains question marks over his future at the Ricoh Arena after being offered a contract and the Sky Blues may have narrowly missed out on a spot in the League One play-offs but midfielder John Fleck looks back on last season as the best during his four-year spell at the club.

The 24-year-old has been a first team regular since moving south of the border from Rangers four years ago and has already amassed an impressive 182 appearances for the club.

The acquisition of experienced midfielder Romain Vincelot was a contributing factor towards Fleck performing at the best of his ability throughout the 2015/16 campaign.

It saw him record his best goal tally at the club with four goals from midfield, including a wonder strike during the 2-1 win over play-off finalists Millwall, which earned the former Rangers man the coveted Fan’s Player of the Year and the Players’ Player of the Year awards.

But Fleck was quick to praise the impact of his team mate Vincelot

“I 100 per cent think that this has been my best season with the football club, but I was shocked to win the top award,” Fleck told the Observer.

“I personally voted for Romain (Vincelot) because for me personally playing alongside him has been incredible, especially in the first half of the season when he just gave me that freedom to play.

“When I first heard there was a rumour about that we were signing someone from Leyton Orient I said to the boys ‘I hope it’s Romain’ and thankfully it was. When we played against Leyton Orient I always had a difficult game against him.

“We’ve had a decent partnership this season, especially in the first half, towards the end he’s been playing in different positions because of injuries and trying to get results, but he’s an incredible player and person.”

Despite cleaning up at the end of season awards, it was ultimately a disappointing end to the season for the Sky Blues who finished five points off the top six.

Asked where he thought it had went wrong, Fleck continued: “I think we fell just a bit short.

“Overall I think most teams that played against us would have thought we were the best team in the league. I just think we have to improve on grinding results out which is something we didn’t so so well.

“My mind takes me back to Doncaster at home when I’ve tried to play a pass and we’ve drawn 2-2. It’s results like that and conceding set pieces and that’s probably cost us over the whole season.”

During his four year spell with the Sky Blues, Fleck has played with the same number of managers having first been poached by Andy Thorn back in July 2012.

But Fleck picks out the current gaffer as the best he has played under and he hopes the powers that be back Mowbray and his coaching staff in the long run.

“Tony Mowbray is incredible. I’m still pretty young I suppose and I’ve only worked under three or four managers but for me he’s the best I’ve worked with.

“I’ve worked under Walter Smith and Ally McCoist, people like that, but for me he’s the best.


“In terms of playing the right way, he respects his players and he gets that respect back from them.

“I’m very disappointed for him on a personal level because I know how much hard work he has put in this season with trying to get results out of the boys but unfortunately we just fell short.”

Fleck’s form last season has understandably attracted interested from the Championship, while former club Rangers are rumoured to have offered the Scotsman a route back home next season.

It leaves the pint-sized midfielder with a difficult decision but he has hinted that his future could remain at the Ricoh Arena.

“I would hope that I will be signing a new deal but at the moment it’s all up in the air,” Fleck added.

“It’s not just about me. This club has lost miles better players than me and they will do in the future.

“The manager has got another big job on his hands, which I don’t think he should be having again with so many players out of contract, it’s just another new start basically again.

“I think we’ve certainly got the right manager in place but he needs some stability. I don’t think the manager can have the same problem next year when there’s 15 players out of contract and he’ll have to start again.”

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