With the 2017/18 season now upon us, we continue to take a closer look at our opponents – this time it’s Coventry City on the agenda.
Nicknames: The Sky Blues
Club Colours: Sky Blue
Who are they?
Founded in 1883, Coventry entered the Football League in 1919 and have remained their ever since. They spent the majority of their early years in the second and third tiers, until the appointment of Jimmy Hill as manager sparked an upturn in fortunes.
Under Hill’s guidance, the Sky Blues’ won the Division Two title in 1967 which saw them enter the top flight for the first time. 1970 saw Coventry enter the European Fairs Cup where they lost out to Bayern Munich, before an FA Cup triumph came courtesy of a victory over Tottenham in 1987.
Coventry spent 34 years in the top flight, with relegation eventually coming in 2001. Relegation to League One came in 2012, with last season’s relegation seeing City fall into the fourth tier for the first time since 1959.
Did You Know?
+ The club’s were initially called Singers FC after they were founded by employees of Singers’ Cycle Firm.
+ In 1981, the Sky Blues’ former home of Highfield Road became the first all-seater stadium in England.
+ Coventry qualified for the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1987/88 but were unable to compete due to bans on English teams at the time.
How did they get on last season?
Coventry suffered relegation from League One last season having spent the majority of the campaign at the foot of the table. Tony Mowbray resigned as manager in September with the side bottom and his replacement, Russell Slade, was unable to turn their fortunes around. Slade departed in March with successor Mark Robins overseeing the ultimate 23rd place finish and relegation.
Who’s in charge?
After a playing career spanning almost 20 years, Mark Robins took his first steps into management in 2007 with Rotherham United. His success with the Millers saw Barnsley come calling and he took over at Oakwell in 2009, lifting the side clear of the Championship relegation zone.
He resigned from the Tykes in 2011, before starting his first spell at Coventry a year later. Robins then took charge of Huddersfield Town and Scunthorpe United before rejoining Coventry in March 2017.
How has their summer transfer business looked?
Robins has been busy over the summer, bringing in nine new faces. Four have departed, however, with Gael Bigirimana, Ruben Lameiras, Andy Rose and Nathan Clarke moving on to pastures new.
Coming the other way are the experienced Michael Doyle, lively attacker Liam Kelly and the versatile Peter Vincenti. French striker Mikael Mandron has added extra firepower up front, while Fulham’s Jack Grimmer is a consistent performer at full-back. They are joined by Rod McDonald, Liam O’Brien, Dominic Hyam and Maxime Biamou.
They’ve Played For Both
Popular goalkeeper Keiren Westwood made the move from Brunton Park to the Ricoh Arena after a successful time at United. After progressing through the ranks at Manchester City, Westwood’s career was revived after he joined the Cumbrians in 2004. He made 131 appearances for the Blues, before joining Coventry in 2008. A brief spell at Sunderland followed his time in the Midlands, before he moved to current employers Sheffield Wednesday in 2014.
Current United striker Shaun Miller also had a spell at Coventry, making 12 appearances and scor-ing once in his season at the Sky Blues.
Memorable Meeting - Coventry 1-2 Carlisle (22 September 2012)
Carlisle travelled to Coventry for the first time since 1974 and registered an impressive away victory. In a game which marked Joe Garner’s return to the Blues, the visitors took the lead through a Danny Cadamarteri penalty. David McGoldrick levelled the scores before the break, but Danny Livesey’s header just before the hour saw United claim victory.
When Did We Last Meet?
We last travelled to Coventry on 18 February 2014 in League One. The hosts, playing at the Sixfields Stadium, took the lead thanks to Frank Moussa, but two goals in 15 second half minutes from Liam Noble and Sam Byrne saw United snatch a win.
When Do We Meet Next?
We make the trip to the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday 12 September, while the Sky Blues travel to Brunton Park on 30 December.