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Home Blog MJW Writes Let's Talk About...Coventry City

Let’s Talk About…Coventry City

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Following their most comfortable win under Russell Martin, Swansea face a tough trip to Coventry on Tuesday night. The Swans won 3-0 at home to newly-promoted Peterborough, with Joel Piroe scoring his eighth league goal of the season. Jake Bidwell opened the scoring within two minutes; the visitors’ first touch of the ball came as they picked the ball out of their own net. Piroe doubled Swansea’s advantage in the 13th minute before fellow summer signing Olivier Ntcham bagged his second of the season just before half time. This result saw Swansea rise to 13th in the table.

Meanwhile, the hosts have been a real surprise package this season, finding themselves in fourth place. Their season began with a 2-1 home win over Nottingham Forest, before a loss to Barnsley. They bounced back with wins over Blackpool and Reading but lost 2-0 at QPR. They won three of their next four, beating Middlesbrough, Cardiff and Peterborough and drawing with Millwall. This was followed by two drastically different results; after a woeful 5-0 loss at Luton, they bounced back with an emphatic 4-1 win over promotion-chasing Fulham. They drew two of their next three games; first with Blackburn, then Derby, with a loss to Preston in between. Last weekend, they ended their winless run, beating Hull City 1-0 away.

Their transfer window

First team arrivals

Coventry opened their window with the signing of Ben Sheaf from Arsenal. The 23-year-old midfielder spent last season on loan at Coventry, impressing enough to earn a permanent move in the summer. He has played 12 times since his arrival.

They made their second signing a day later, bringing in Martyn Waghorn after his release from Derby. He has made seven league starts, with a further four appearances off the bench. His only goal for the club so far came in a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough in September.

Keen on improving their defensive record, they signed goalkeeper Simon Moore from Sheffield United. The 31-year-old made 63 appearances for The Blades after arriving from Cardiff City in 2016. He has played all 15 games so far this season, keeping five clean sheets.

After a short and unsuccessful loan spell at Swansea last season, Viktor Gyökeres was recalled by Brighton before joining Coventry City on loan in January. Despite scoring just three in 19 games for Coventry, he impressed enough to earn a permanent move in the summer. However, he has been clinical so far this campaign, scoring nine in 15 games. This record makes him the fourth-highest scorer in the Championship, bettered only by Aleksandar Mitrovic (18 goals), Ben Brereton-Diaz (12 goals) and Dominic Solanke (11 goals).

Waghorn and Gyökeres were not the only forwards to join the club this season, with Bright Enobakhare returning to England after spells at AEK Athens and East Bengal. Enobakhare played for Wolves between 2015-2020, with a successful loan spell at Coventry in 2019. However, he left the club by mutual consent on 1st November. His only appearance came in the EFL Cup. He played 63 minutes in a defeat to Northampton.

Clearly a signing for the future, Danny Cashman joined from Brighton before being almost immediately loaned to Rochdale. The 20-year-old forward has made 14 League Two appearances, albeit mostly from the bench. He has scored twice, also registering two assists. They also brought in Ricardo Dinanga and Marco Rus from Cork City and Southampton respectively, both of whom joined up with the Under-23s.

Their final permanent signing came in the form of Todd Kane. The former Chelsea youth product, now aged 28, joined from QPR. So far, the right-back has played six Championship games, although he has been an unused substitute in four of their last five outings.

On top of their permanent acquisitions, they also welcomed two loanees. The first was Ian Maatsen. The left-back joined from Chelsea and has been a regular since his arrival. He has made 14 starts, registering a goal in their 4-1 win over Fulham. He also set up the winner in last weekend’s 1-0 win at Hull.

Maatsen was joined by fellow Chelsea youngster Jake Clarke-Salter. The centre-back, formerly linked with Swansea, has played 11 games so far for Coventry.

First team departures

Making way for the signing of Simon Moore, goalkeeper Marko Marosi joined Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee. He made 20 appearances last season.

After making 68 appearances for the club in a three-year spell, Sierra Leonean forward Amadou Bakayoko joined Bolton Wanderers. Fellow forward Maxime Biamou also departed, making the switch to Dundee United. He scored 14 in 95 league games in four years at Coventry.

After making just 12 league appearances for the club, Gervane Kastaneer returned to his native Netherlands, joining PEC Zwolle.

Lastly, Brandon Mason departed by mutual consent and is yet to find a new club. The left-back played 36 times for Coventry between 2018-2021.

Their captain

In January 2019, Liam Kelly was named captain of Coventry, following the departure of Michael Doyle.

Kelly started his senior career at Kilmarnock, joining from the MK Dons youth academy in 2009. He played 100 league games for the Scottish side, scoring 15 goals. In 2011-12, they won the Scottish League Cup.

He returned to England in January 2013, moving to Bristol City. However, this was a short-lived spell. After suffering an injury in July 2013, he missed the majority of the 2013-14 season. He departed for Oldham Athletic in June 2014 after making 21 league appearances.

He spent two years at Oldham, scoring seven in 78 League One outings. He followed this with a brief spell at Leyton Orient, before joining Coventry City in 2017. When he first joined The Sky Blues, they were in League Two. However, they achieved promotion in his first season at the club, before winning a second promotion two years later, returning to the Championship after an eight-year absence.

So far this campaign, the 31-year-old has made three starts, with a further three appearances off the bench. He missed the first eight games with a knee injury which he suffered in April.

He received his first and only Scotland cap in November 2012, coming on as a substitute in a friendly win over Luxembourg.

Their manager

Following the departure of Russell Slade in 2017, Coventry re-appointed Mark Robins as their manager. The 51-year-old enjoyed a lengthy career before turning his attention to management in 2007.

He began his career at Manchester United, rising through the youth ranks before making his league debut in 1988, aged just 18. The former forward made 44 league appearances for the club, scoring 11 goals. He also played a key role in their FA Cup win in 1990. He also won the FA Charity Shield later that year, before winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup in 1991.

He joined Norwich City in 1992 for £800,000, scoring 20 goals in 68 league outings in a three-year spell. Following a dispute with their manager, he was sold to Leicester City in 1995. They were relegated to the second tier later that season but bounced back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, winning the play-off final. They won the League Cup the following season.

In 1996, he joined Copenhagen on loan, scoring 4 in 6 league games for the club. He followed that with a less successful loan at Reading, before short spells with Ourense and Panionios.

He returned to Manchester in 1999, joining Manchester City on loan. However, he played just two league games. Soon after, he made a permanent return to England by joining Walsall. There, he played in 40 league games, scoring six goals.

In 2000, he moved to Rotherham United. There, he made more league appearances than he had at any other club, playing in 107 league games. He scored an impressive 44 goals for the club. Rotherham loaned him to Bristol City in 2003, before selling him to Sheffield Wednesday later that year.

After brief stints at Wednesday and Burton Albion, he announced his retirement in 2005. He received his first taste of management in 2007, returning to Rotherham. They narrowly missed out on promotion despite a 17-point deduction in 2009, which proved to be his final full season for the club.

He departed for Barnsley in September 2009, steering them to safety in the Championship. He resigned a year later, citing differences with the board.

He was appointed as Coventry City manager a year after quitting Barnsley. Despite being tipped for relegation from League One, Robins quickly turned the club into play-off contenders. However, he opted to leave the club just five months into his spell.

He joined Huddersfield Town, steering them clear of relegation from the Championship on the final day after a draw with his former club Barnsley. He kept them up again in 2013-14 but quit the club one game into the 2014-15 season.

Two months later, he returned to League One when Scunthorpe United appointed him as manager. This proved to be a disappointing spell, with Robins losing his job after three months.

He remained out of management for almost 14 months, before returning to then-League Two Coventry in March 2017. They won the EFL Trophy less than a month later. In his first full campaign upon his return, he led them to promotion via the playoffs. This was their first promotion in 51 years.

Two years on, they achieved their second promotion under Robins, winning the League One title. With the Covid-19 pandemic causing the suspension of the lower leagues, Coventry were promoted as they led the league at that time. With 12 games to go, they were five points clear of second-place Rotherham with a game in hand, and eight ahead of Wycombe in third.

Upon their return to the second tier, Robins led them to a 16th-place finish.

Previous meetings with Coventry

Prior to last season, the two clubs had not met since 2011, the same season that Swansea achieved promotion to the Premier League. The Swans did the double over The Sky Blues during that campaign.

Tuesday 20th October 2020 (A)

After three wins, a draw and a loss in their first five games, Swansea travelled to St Andrew’s looking to move into the automatic places. Meanwhile, Coventry found themselves in 19th with four points.

Despite their contrasting starts, it was the hosts who struck first. Jordan Shipley opened the scoring in the 19th minute, drilling home from the edge of the box. They looked set to take a lead into half-time, but a well-executed counter-attack from The Swans ended with Andre Ayew scoring from eight yards out.

Full time – Coventry City 1-1 Swansea City

 Wednesday 24th February 2021 (H)

Following a shock 4-1 loss to Huddersfield, Swansea hosted Coventry, keen to keep up with Brentford and Watford for the second automatic promotion place. The visitors were sat in 20th, five points clear of the relegation zone.

In a low-key affair, a second half goal from Ben Cabango was enough to give Swansea all three points.

Full time – Swansea City 1-0 Coventry City

Match Preview

While last weekend’s dominant win provided much excitement, this will undoubtedly be a significantly tougher test for Russell Martin’s men. Coventry have exceeded expectations, picking up 27 points from their first 15 games. The hosts are five points off the automatic places and three points clear of seventh.

However, the Swans are in excellent form. They have three wins in their last four games, with only two defeats in their last ten league games. Swansea have also kept eight clean sheets in their 15 league games.

Joel Piroe continued his excellent start to the season, scoring his eighth league goal since his £1 million move from PSV Eindhoven, a deal which already looks like a bargain. Free agent signing Olivier Ntcham impressed again, while loanee Ethan Laird had another productive afternoon.

Swansea have shown more stability since goalkeeper Ben Hamer was handed the regular starting role, but they will need to be wary of Viktor Gyökeres’ impressive goalscoring record. The Swedish forward could come back to haunt The Swans after an uninspiring loan spell last year.

With no injury concerns, Russell Martin will have a full squad to choose from. Expect a tough game, with the hosts looking to record back-to-back wins at the expense of Swansea.

Swansea are sat in 13th with 20 points but are just three behind seventh-place Blackburn Rovers, while also being just two points above 19th-place Preston North End. A win could see them rocket up the table, while a loss could cause Swansea to drop several places.

Following the visit to Coventry, Swansea face an immensely tough test when they travel to Bournemouth. The Cherries are unbeaten and sit five points clear at the top of the table.

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Matt Williamshttps://mjwwrites.wordpress.com/
My name is Matt Williams. I am a 24-year-old journalism graduate and aspiring sports journalist from South Wales. I am a fan of Swansea City, and regularly write about the team on my own personal blog. I also support the Carolina Panthers, and I am an avid follower of the Welsh national teams in football and rugby.

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