HE MAY have hit his appearance target for the 2014/15 campaign, but Sky Blues defender Ryan Haynes admits he felt ‘burned out’ as the club fought hard to retain their League One status.
The 19-year-old made 30 appearances last season, which was ten more than he had targeted, and his positive displays at full back earned him a glowing reputation amongst supporters.
His performance against Gillingham on the night when the Sky Blues returned to the Ricoh Arena was one his standout displays.
But his last start came in the reverse fixture against the Gills back in January and Haynes is eager to get a good pre-season behind him in order to win back his place in Tony Mowbray’s starting eleven.
“I’m a young player and I’ve still got plenty to learn,” Haynes told the club’s official website.
“I was disappointed that I dropped off towards the end of the season as I wanted to help keep the club in the division. I was a bit burned out but I still was eager to finish the season strongly.
“I wanted to finish the season on a high, that didn’t happen for me personally but now it’s a challenge to come back even better.
“I want to keep improving and I will be fresh in pre-season. I want to be stronger and fitter, I learnt a lot last season and I have to remember that it was my first full season.
“But now I need to impress the manager and I appreciate how important it will be for me to start pre-season well to get back in the picture.
“I still think I had a good season, I hit my appearance target so I have given myself a good foundation. Now I want to add to that tally and help the club have a good season. I’m really determined to make myself better.”
There seems to be a real sense of positivity surround the Sky Blues at the moment following the announcement of Tony Mowbray as the club’s long term manager.
And Haynes feels the former West Brom and Celtic boss is the right man to lead the club to their first top six finish since 1970.
“It’s a massive season but we’re all excited that the gaffer has signed a two-year deal.
“It shows that we’re moving in the right direction I feel. He’s got a winning pedigree and that’s something everyone wants to work with.
“The fans have responded really positively and the players are all happy he has signed, we all have to work hard now to help get the club out of this division.”
“I hope next season is the season everyone has been waiting for, the fans haven’t seen success in recent years and for me personally, I’m really fired up to help give us all something to properly celebrate.
“I’m really excited for what the season holds, I think we are moving in the right direction.”
The club’s future from a playing perspective certainly looks bright with the likes of Dion and Devon Kelly-Evans, Cian Harries, George Thomas and Ben Stevenson all signing their first professional deals last month.
Haynes knows just how important is is to have academy players breaking through having graduated through the club’s system himself last season.
And he is confident the latest crop of talent has what it takes to make an impact in the first team.
He added: “Supporters always have a good bond with their ‘own’ players, players who have come through the Academy.
“I experienced it last year and I hope the other young lads will get the great response I got from the fans. They treated me incredibly.
“I’m sure the lads who have all signed contracts will excel. I’ve played with them all a lot, particularly with the Under-21s and they all have that drive which the Academy has helped to give us.
“I think they can make an impact, the first-team environment is very welcoming and I know full well it can be intimidating at first. But they’ve all had experience of it before and I think they can really add to the squad.
“They will all fit in nicely and will give their all should they be called upon. It’s an exciting time to be involved. “You’ve already seen the talent of James Maddison and George Thomas in the first-team and we’ve got a hungry group of young players at the club.
“It’s an exciting time ahead for the young players at the club and hopefully we can help give the fans some success this season.”