Soaring Sky Blues starting to motor in the Championship

The heartache of the play- off final loss to Luton Town last season hindered Mark Robins’ charges.

Now, the Sky Blues have found their mojo and are starting to heat up as the second half of the Championship campaign begins to take shape.

Slow start to the season

Mark Robins recruited smartly in the summer and it was badly needed to inject some new blood into the wounded men from the Midlands. The sale of top scorer Viktor Gyokeres to Sporting Lisbon for a healthy sum of €20 million last summer left a void in the striking department.

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Any time a striker of Gyokeres’ calibre is removed from a team, you need to replace with real quality. Ellis Simms from Everton was chosen as the man to fill the Swede’s big boots. Simms arrived with experience from playing with Sunderland in the Championship and also the Toffees in the Premier League.

Nonetheless, the big front man has not set the world alight and has only accumulated three goals in 27 appearances. Injuries and a lack of consistency had found Coventry starting the season at a snail’s pace.

New team gelling together

A total of 15 players made there way through the Coventry Building Society Arena last summer. Healthy sums of money which were amassed from the sales of Gyokeres and playmaker Gustavo Hamer opened up a war chest for Robins. Commanding centre-back Liam Kitching was drafted in from Barnsley as well as Bobby Thomas from Burnley.

The pacey, tall forward Haji Wright was plucked from Turkish club Antalyaspor for a large sum of €9 million which is now a club record. Japanese star Tatsuhiro Sakamoto arrived from Oostende. Rampaging right- back Milan van Ewijk who is not starting to fire was brought in from Heerenveen.

The last line of defence is also starting to stand up and be counted for with Bradley Collins taking over from Ben Wilson between the sticks.

Return of Callum O’Hare

A fantastic and quality chink in the armour was dealt and a devastating blow in December 2022 which proved to be a factor in the Sky Blues failing to return to the Premier League last May. Callum O’Hare is a player of remarkable skill and is seen as the man to find the final pass to unlock the defence. His absence not only last season but at the start of this season showed the gap in quality in the middle third.

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Now, the former Aston Villa midfielder is orchestrating the Coventry charge towards the play- offs and his goals and assists are starting to get the City fans dreaming of a return to the top flight for the first time in 23 years. O’Hare has hit the ground running since his return and has notched five goals since his return from an ACL injury.

His double last Saturday against Leicester City is a warning to the rest of the division that the magician is only getting started.

Building Ahead of Steam

The Sky Blues showed their true promotion credentials and that their hangover from last May is now over them with victory over Leicester City last Saturday. A telling 3-1 home victory was a result which many did not expect but now it looks as though, this team full of talent is starting to blossom and push on. The victory on Saturday pushed City into the top six for the first time this season.

Coventry have now embarked on a run of eight games unbeaten and will look to continue their strong form this weekend against the improving Sheffield Wednesday.

The Author

Jonathan Burke

Mayo Resident, Blackpool supporter

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