PROMOTION is the aim for the Sky Blues next season insists manager Tony Mowbray after his side finished the 2015/16 campaign just short of the League One play-offs.
A comfortable 2-0 victory over Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park on the final day of the season ensured the Sky Blues finished eighth and five points off the top six.
Ultimately it was a disappointing end with the Sky Blues sitting top of the league back in November, but four wins in their final five fixtures made it a positive sign off and Mowbray wants the fans to stick behind them as he looks to build a squad capable of promotion next season.
“We are disappointed, if I’m looking for positives it is a progression on last season and I’ve spoken about incremental improvements,” said Mowbray. “To finish eighth is a huge improvement, we set our targets high and fallen just below.
“We’ve got to push on now and get this club out of this league. To the supporters of the club, almost an apology that the club has fallen away.
“The supporters need to try and stick with us, we’re looking to build a squad that can get out of this league and we need to stick together.”
With nothing left to play for this season, Mowbray offered a surprise debut to young Welsh defender Cian Harris, while George Thomas started in attack again and academy duo Dion Kelly-Evans and Ben Stevenson were named on the bench.
Adam Armstrong had a great chance to score an elusive 20th goal of the season but after rounding goalkeeper Joel Coleman he was denied by a defender.
Shortly before the break he went round the keeper again but after squaring the ball across goal Thomas fired his effort over the bar.
Reice Charles-Cook pulled off a superb save at the other end to keep the scoreline level at the break. The young goalkeeper produced a full stretch save to keep out Liam Kelly’s goal-bound header.
Jacob Murphy introduced some much needed pace into the Sky Blues attack and he grabbed another assist for the season by delivering the corner for Romain Vincelot to open the scoring with a neat header on 75 minutes.
The visiting fans were urging Armstrong on and with nine minutes remaining he finally bagged his 20th goal of the season. Murphy was once again the provider by setting Armstrong away and the Newcastle loan star did the rest by slotting the ball past Coleman as the Sky Blues ended the campaign on a winning note.
“I think there were a lot of aspects to be pleased about,” Mowbray added. “Cian Harries had an outstanding game and it’s great for Dion (Kelly-Evans) to get 45 minutes as well.
“George worked hard again and Armstrong got his 20th goal. All in all, a lot of positives. It’s great for the club and Adam himself, you could see the way the team celebrated with him that it meant a lot.”