WEMBLEY COUNTDOWN - Coventry City's rise under Mark Robins - The Coventry Observer

WEMBLEY COUNTDOWN - Coventry City's rise under Mark Robins

Coventry Editorial 25th May, 2023   0

COVENTRY City’s last visit to Wembley saw them clinch promotion to League One following a 3-1 win against Exeter City in the 2017/18 League Two play-off final.

That win proved a turning point in the club’s recent history as the League One title followed in 2019/20.

And just three seasons later, City find themselves on the brink of a dream return to the Premier League.

Few would have foreseen the club’s resurgence under boss Mark Robins, now in his second stint at City manager.

Robins returned as boss during the 2016/17 season and less than a month later led the Sky Blues to Wembley success as City beat Oxford United 2-1 in the EFL Trophy.

He was unable to save the club from relegation to League Two as a first season in England’s fourth tier for 59 years beckoned.

And a sixth-place finish in League Two meant City would have to earn promotion via the play-offs.

City did just that as Robins’ side dispatched Notts County in the semi-finals before Jordan Willis, Jordan Shipley and Jack Grimmer scored in Coventry’s play-off final success against Exeter.

The Sky Blues finished just outside of the play-offs in their first season back in League One but made a stunning start to the following campaign.

That was despite having to play their home matches at Birmingham City’s St Andrews ground after they were forced to leave the CBS Arena due to a dispute with then landlords Wasps.

City had only lost three games by the beginning of March and were on a 14-match unbeaten run before the season was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was ultimately decided that league positions would be determined on a points-per-game basis which saw City crowned champions.

A second season at St Andrews would follow as Robins established Coventry as a Championship club and comfortably secured their status in the division.

The club returned to their home city ahead of the 2021/22 campaign and achieved their highest league finish in 16 years having threatened the top-six during the first half of the season.

Despite a tumultuous start to the current campaign, Robins masterminded the club’s rise up the table and secured a fifth place finish on the final day of the season.

He then guided City past much-fancied Middlesbrough over two legs in the play-off semi-finals to set up this weekend’s final with Luton Town.

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