Spotlight On…Coventry City
The Sky Blues are our next focus as we look at all the teams that will be competing in League One during the 2014-15 season.
The future of Coventry City was up in the air before the season started and with the prospect of playing their home matches away from the Ricoh Arena, everything was less than rosy.
The Sky Blues eventually sorted themselves out which included a deal to play their home games at Northampton Towns Sixfields Stadium.
With the problems they had, the League also inflicted a 10 point deduction but the early season form Coventry enjoyed saw them soon get in to a positive points position. At one point, the teams in and around the play-off positions were keeping an eye on Coventry as they would`ve caught them up had they continued their impressive form.
That form died down after their controversial win over Posh on Boxing Day. They only managed to pick up six more wins throughout the remainder of the season! They finished the season just three places and four points outside the relegation places.
THE MANAGER - STEPHEN PRESSLEY
Stephen Pressley had one season as a player with Coventry City in the 1994/95 season but apart from that, the rest of his playing and managerial career has been in Scotland.
He started his playing career with Rangers spending four years there before making his only trip to England to hook up with the Sky Blues. He headed back to Scotland after playing just 19 times for Coventry signing for Dundee United.
Things really took off for him at Dundee United as Pressley helped them to promotion back to the Scottish Premier Division in his first season, followed by a third place finish in the top flight in season 1996-97.
In 1998 he moved to Heart of Midlothian and made over 250 appearances for the Edinburgh club. He even had a spell as caretaker manager during his time at there overseeing two matches which both ended in defeat.
After leaving Hearts, he started to wind down his playing career with brief stints at Celtic, Danish club Randers where he spent four months before finishing his career at Falkirk.
Pressley represented Scotland 32 times but it finished in controversial fashion with his last appearance seeing him pick up a red card against Ukraine. He retired from international football in February 2008 when he was named as Scotland's assistant coach, but continued to play club football until his official retirement in June 2009.
He was made assistant manager at Falkirk following his retirement from playing and eventually took over when Eddie May resigned in February 2010.
Coventry City appointed Pressley in March last year after Mark Robins had left to take over Huddersfield Town.
VISITING THE GROUND?
Following disagreements with the owners of the Ricoh Arena, the Sky Blues moved out and signed a contract with Sixfields Stadium in Northampton to play their home matches there.
Last season, Posh had the luxury of having two of the stands to sit in. The Paul Cox Panel & Paint South Stand, situated behind one of the goals, is the usual stand that houses away supporters holding 800 fans but they also had the Alwyn Hargrave Stand for the overflow of fans that made the relatively short trip.
Post Code for SAT NAV: NN5 5QA
Distance from London Road: 45.5 miles
SUMMER BUSINESS SO FAR
We all know one player the Sky Blues have signed this season…former Posh midfielder Danny Swanson. Swanson turned down the offer of a new contract at London Road, where he failed to live up to the hype when he arrived, and signed a more lucrative deal at the Midlands club.
The Sky Blues did lose number one goalkeeper Joe Murphy who has signed for Championship side Huddersfield Town although they have agreed terms with fellow goalkeeper, Lee Burge, who has extended his contract by three-years.
Blair Adams has terminated his contract so he can sign for League One rivals Notts County.
Franck Moussa and Cyrus Christie both failed to agree improved terms to their contracts that finished at the end of June. Moussa has since signed for Championship side Charlton Athletic with Christie signing for Derby County.
Midfielder Mark Marshall has also left the club after agreeing a one-year deal at Port Vale.
Promising teenage academy graduate Jack Finch has signed a two-year professional contract and is joined at the club by Jim O`Brien from Barnsley and Reda Johnson following his release by Sheffield Wednesday.
The Sky Blues have lost their star striker Callum Wilson after he was sold to Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee. Cherries winger Mohamed Coulibaly and goalkeeper Ryan Allsop have moved the other way on loan until January.
The transfer merry-go-round continued with two further signings in former Leeds United utility player Danny Pugh and former Sheffield United striker Shaun Miller on one-year contracts.
THEY PLAYED FOR BOTH
Danny Swanson is the latest player to play for both sides after making the switch to the Sky Blues this summer.
Current Posh assistant manager, Gavin Strachan and defensive coach Gary Breen have also played for both sides along with the legend that is Noel Cantwell.
One of the best ever products of the Posh youth system made the journey from Posh to Coventry in 1983. Micky Gynn went on to help the Sky Blues to FA Cup success.
A number of goalkeepers have played for both teams including Ian Bennett, John Findlay, Eric McManus, Jon Sheffield, Keith Waugh and new Panathinaikos goalkeeper Luke Steele.
A few other noteable names to have represented both clubs are Terry Bly, Trevor Benjamin, Paul Culpin, Leon McKenzie, Phil Neal and Clive Platt.
There have only ever been 15 competitive matches between Posh and the Sky Blues. Twelve of these matches have been in the League with Posh having only won on four occasions while picking up two draws.
Both sides won their respective home match last season but the match at Sixfields ended in controversy after the officials didn`t see Shaun Brisley`s header clearly cross the line which would`ve earned Posh a deserved 3-3 draw. Instead, the useless official waved play-on and as Posh players were moaning to the assistant, Coventry went straight up the other end, virtually unopposed to fire the ball past a stranded Bobby Olejnik to win the match 4-2!
The return fixture at London Road saw a Danny Swanson inspired win as Posh were outstanding for the first 20 minutes until the Sky Blues took out their chief tormentor (Swanson) who hobbled off the pitch injured. Kgosi Ntlhe scored the only goal of the game after just six minutes.
WHAT THE BOOKIES THINK
Coventry are 22/1 to win League One in 2014-15 and 6/1 to get promoted.
They are 11/4 to finish in the top six and 11/2 to get relegated.
UP THE POSH
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Photo courtesy of www.theposhpics.com
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