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First Team News

In Focus: Coventry City

16 August 2020

We’ve started to have a deeper look at the six teams joining the Championship for the 2020/21 season ahead of Fixture Release Day and in the spotlight today is Coventry City.

The Sky Blues were promoted as champions in June as it was voted that League One would be decided on points-per-game, leaving Coventry with a much superior points tally to second-placed Rotherham.

In The Dugout
Mark Robins has been in charge since March 2017 and has only really known success since taking over.

He led Coventry City to victory in the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley in 2017 before returning there in May 2018 as they were promoted via the Play-Offs into League One.

After then finishing eighth in their first season back in the third tier, they blew everybody away to finish top and secure a return to the Championship after eight years away.

Robins, a former Manchester United player, isn’t short of managerial experience in this division, having taken charge of both Barnsley and Huddersfield Town at this level.

2019/20 Season
Last season’s League One was filled with big clubs that felt they had a good shot at getting back to where they feel they belong and Coventry definitely fell under that bracket after such a long spell in the lower half of the EFL.

They made a strong start to the 2019/20 campaign with a ten-match unbeaten run, but that was to be bettered as they went 14 games without defeat from late December up until the season’s suspension in March.

The introduction of the points-per-game ruling to decide the final standings caused a lot of movement in the Play-Offs but by that point the Sky Blues had a five-point lead at the top of the table and were confirmed as deserved champions.

At the end of season awards, full back Fankaty Dabo was voted Player of the Year by the Coventry supporters meanwhile Bristol City loanee Liam Walsh picked up three awards, but his parent club made it clear he wouldn’t be let go again meaning a gap would be left in Coventry’s midfield.

In The Market
Coventry have wasted no time to fill the Walsh void, having done plenty of early business in the transfer market.

Probably the most notable addition and replacement for Walsh is Gustavo Hamer, a 23-year-old midfielder who was a key figure for PEC Zwolle in the Dutch top tier last season, contributing towards ten goals.

He’s been joined by French defender Julien Dacosta and German winger Marcel Hilßner who, like Hamer, have no experience in the English game.

Callum O’Hare, who spent last season on loan with Coventry from Aston Villa, is probably the most recognisable name to join the club having spent the last few years playing in the EFL.

Past Meetings
North End first played Coventry all the way back in 1910 in an FA Cup tie, but it wasn’t until 1949 that they met in the league.

It’s been five years since the sides last faced each other, though, as PNE twice beat Coventry in their 2014/15 promotion-winning season.

This fixture has also seen a lot of goals in the last decade, most notably the topsy-turvy 4-4 draw in 2013 in which Chris Humphrey thought he’d won the game in stoppage time only to be denied by a 95th minute equaliser.

Due to Coventry’s ongoing difficulties in returning to their home, the Ricoh Arena, they will play their 2019/20 fixtures at Birmingham City’s St. Andrew’s Stadium for the second consecutive year.

We’ll be taking a look in the upcoming days at the remaining four clubs to join the Championship next season so make sure to keep an eye on PNE.Com and across our social media channels.


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