WEMBLEY COUNTDOWN - Season review: Coventry City's remarkable 2022/23 campaign - The Coventry Observer

WEMBLEY COUNTDOWN - Season review: Coventry City's remarkable 2022/23 campaign

Coventry Editorial 24th May, 2023 Updated: 24th May, 2023   0

COVENTRY City have been through a lot over the past two decades but not much more could have gone wrong for the club at the start of the 2022/23 season.

The staging of rugby sevens matches at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on the CBS Arena pitch over the summer left the turf in a state of disrepair.

That meant the club were forced to postpone their first three home matches of the season as City picked up just three points from their opening seven games.

However, their season turned following a 1-0 home win against Middlesbrough as the club won seven of their last nine matches before the mid-season break for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Despite the progress made on the pitch, the club’s immediate future at the CBS Arena was placed under threat in November.

The company that runs the stadium was placed into administration and the ground was eventually purchased by former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s company – Frasers Group.




However, good news was on the horizon as local businessman Doug King completed a majority takeover of the club to end SISU’s disastrous 16-year stewardship.

King failed in a late bid to buy the stadium before the club were sent an eviction notice by the new Arena owners in December and eventually agreed to a season-long licence to remain at their home ground which was later extended to five seasons.


Results on the pitch dwindled following their return to action after the break for the World Cup as City won just two of their next 11 matches from December to February.

However, City beat top-six hopefuls Millwall and Sunderland during a nine-game unbeaten run that lifted the Sky Blues into contention for the play-offs.

A crucial trip to Blackburn Rovers in April looked set to define Coventry’s season as goalkeeper Ben Wilson scored an extraordinary 95th minute equaliser to keep the club’s Premier League dream alive.

That was followed by home wins against Birmingham City and Reading before a final day draw at Middlesbrough sealed a remarkable fifth-place finish.

Viktor Gyokeres ended the campaign as the club’s top scorer with 21 goals whilst Ben Wilson set a new club record having kept 20 clean sheets over the course of the season.

Coventry would then play Boro over two legs in the play-offs with Michael Carrick’s side much-fancied to join Burnley and Sheffield United in next season’s Premier League.

Undeterred, City held Boro to a goalless draw at the CBS Arena in the first leg to set up a winner takes all second leg at the Riverside Stadium.

Another cagey affair ensued before Gustavo Hamer’s second-half stunner secured a 1-0 aggregate victory to leave Coventry just 90 minutes away from a return to the top flight.

Coventry’s season ends with the play-off final against Luton Town on Saturday, May 27 with kick-off at 4.45pm at Wembley Stadium.

 

You can read about Coventry’s last season as a Premier League club HERE

You can read about five of Coventry’s most memorable matches HERE

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