DEFENDER Chris Stokes has more than one reason to put in a good performance at Wembley this weekend in the Checkatrade Trophy Final against Oxford.
The 26-year-old not only hopes to make the starting line-up for the club’s biggest game of the season, but also impress his family who will be at the game – including his newly born two-week-old son.
Stokes’ season has been plagued by a long-term knee injury which he picked up at Blackpool last year.
He has been limited to just a handful of appearances for the club this term and with his contract due for renewal this summer, the likeable left-back will hoping to make his mark at the home of English football.
He said: “The support we’re receiving just proves how good this football club is.
“You can feel the excitement of Wembley when you walk around town. Protests have taken place but the fans are still there to support us, and they want us to do well.
“We’ve not spoken about Wembley itself too much – we’ll be treating it as another game. This week has been a case of getting our heads down and focusing on training.”
The occasion will be extra special for Stokes, who only two weeks ago became a father for the first time.
His newly born son will be watching his dad play with the rest of his family as the Sky Blues aim to secure the club’s first Wembley silverware in 30 years.
He said: “It’ll be nice to have my family there supporting me.
“He’ll be expecting Wembley every time from here.
“The season hasn’t been good. It’s been tough.
“Watching from the sidelines and not being able to do a lot about what’s going on is frustrating.
“However it’s put more motivation in me to perform well this weekend.”
Mark Robins’ men have been boosted in recent weeks with two home wins against Port Vale and Bristol Rovers.
Though the additional six league points have had no effect on City’s League One position, Stokes said they have boosted the squad’s morale ahead of the cup final.
He added: “The feeling in the camp has been good. It’s not been a good season but we’ve responded well in our last two games and we’ll take what we can into Sunday.
“It’s been nice to get those two wins. We need to forget about how the league has gone.
“We’re bottom and they’re close to the top. But on Sunday that’s irrelevant – it’s a cup final.”