19th Oct, 2017

Pressley sacking was a tough but correct decision

Coventry Editorial 24th Feb, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

AS LIKEABLE as he was the time was right for Steven Pressley’s departure but now the Sky Blues face the most important appointment in the club’s long history, writes Observer sports editor Steve Carpenter.

I write this still emotionally charged from Saturday’s disappointment in Sheffield and before I go any further for those not in attendance at Bramall Lane, this tweet sent to me by a former Observer sports editor perfectly sums that afternoon up.

It read: ‘Hope, joy, relaxation, shock, embarrassment, anger, laughing stock – Coventry City’s formula displayed in one afternoon’.

It should not come as a shock to see Pressley given his marching orders but I can’t help but feel sorry for the Scot.

His passion and energy for the club I don’t think will ever be matched but sadly results did not go his way.

At his first press conference I was immediately impressed. He came across as a very calm and likeable character who I feel has grown into one the brightest, young managers in country.

Not too long ago I was standing behind Pressley at the club’s superstore opening and in front of hundreds of fans that night he was seen as a hero.

His achievements last season were heroic and I have no doubt that he will look back on his time with the Sky Blues with fond memories despite all of the off-field turmoil.

But in recent months and weeks his position has come into question by the most loyal of supporters and when you lose their backing you’re in a deep trouble.

Pressley’s managerial ability came under threat but it’s his work in the transfer market that has cost him his job. Certain signings promised so much yet have so far delivered little and releasing fan’s favourite Carl Baker remains a mystery.

Baker guarantees both goals and assists at this level and his recent form for MK Dons acts as a constant reminder of what we’re missing.

The stats don’t lie either. One win in 11 league matches, no home win since October 25 and just six wins from the last 26 matches in all competitions. It’s simply not good enough for a club with supposedly one of the biggest budgets in the league.

At the beginning of his tenure Pressley spoke of how the fans had been starved of success. But sadly under his reign, which was plagued by off-field problems, the club is now fighting for its life in the third tier of English football.

A change was needed and Waggott was brave enough to make what must have been a difficult decision.

But as is football there is no time to reflect and Waggott now has a tough job of finding his replacement.

His options may be limited due to financial restraints set by the powers that be but he needs to get this right.

Over 70 applicants have expressed an interest already which is impressive given the club’s plight.

But given all the off-field nonsense in recent years I don’t know what sort of calibre of manager will be interested in taking over what some have described as a ‘poisoned chalice’.

Relegation to the fourth tier of English football could kill this once proud football club, but there is still time for the right candidate to come in and be the hero.

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