The new campaign hadn’t gotten off to the best of starts for Mark Robins’ Sky Blues. Barely two weeks ago, they sat rock bottom of the Championship and looked set for a season of misery. As a result, Oddschecker, which compares odds and provides free offers on English football had made them one of the favourites for relegation this season. But what a difference a fortnight makes.
On 8th October, City lost 1-0 at home to Vincent Kompany’s Burnley. The result left them stranded at the foot of the second-tier table, with just seven points from their first ten games. Nathan Tella’s first-half strike condemned Coventry to their fifth defeat of the season. And with tough trips on the horizon to Cardiff City and Stoke City, plus the visit of high-flying Sheffield United, it seemed that further misery was to follow.
But oh how Mark Robins’ side has defied the critics. In the first of those tests – the trip to the Welsh capital – the visitors weren’t expected to pull up any trees. The Bluebirds were unbeaten in three games and had recorded back-to-back home wins against league leaders Blackburn Rovers, as well as away at newly promoted Wigan Athletic. Coventry finally showed their fighting spirit however, and managed to grind out a 1-0 victory thanks to Viktor Gyökeres’ winner.
Next on the agenda was Sheffield United. Despite the Blades being riddled with injuries and without a win in four, Oliver Norwood’s 98th-minute equaliser at home to Blackpool looked as though it was enough to galvanise the South Yorkshire side. But they too were put to the sword courtesy of Martyn Waghorn’s last-gasp penalty. Rather than Paul Heckingbottom’s team being rejuvenated, it was the side from the Midlands that left with momentum. And they carried that into this weekend’s game away at Stoke City.
The trip to the Bet365 Stadium brought about the Sky Blues’ most convincing win yet. Goals from Jamie Allen and Gustavo Hamer were enough to seal a 2-0 victory for the visitors, their second away victory on the bounce.
What’s next for Mark Robins’ men
The Sky Blues still sit inside the Championship drop zone. They’re just one point behind Middlesborough, but have a mammoth three games in hand on their closest rivals. As such, City are looking up the table rather than over their shoulder. And what better way to build on three consecutive wins than with three home games on the spin?
Thanks to the Commonwealth Games’ Rugby Sevens tournament, Coventry have been forced to postpone no less than three home games due the pitch at the Coventry Building Society Arena being deemed unsafe. The result of that is a hectic schedule from now until the next month’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The first team to visit the former Ricoh Arena is Rotherham United. The Millers have made an impressive start to life back in the second tier, despite losing their long-serving manager Paul Warne to Derby County. New manager – former Exeter City boss Matt Taylor – has guided his club to two victories in his first five games in charge, but the recent 4-2 drubbing at home to Hull City has shown that there is still a lot of work for Taylor.
Plus, an always interesting subplot to every fixture the Sky Blues have when they play against the Reds is manager Mark Robins.
Coventry’s boss was a legend in Rotherham, scoring 46 goals for the club during a three-year spell. He then began his managerial career with the Millers and, despite having 17 points deducted for entering administration, almost led them to the League Two playoffs . He would, however, leave the club in acrimonious circumstances for local rivals Barnsley, with the Millers faithful viewing that as somewhat of a betrayal.
Fans of City may be expecting a comfortable victory over Rotherham, which would take their winning streak to four. And with Lancashire duo Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers the next to visit, it’s very possible that fears of City’s relegation could be firmly in the rear view mirror this time next week.
Article written by Soren.