Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Coventry City Owner Doug King Targets, Big Liam Kelly Question, Formation Change

NEWS: Doug King thanks fans for support and looks ahead to 2023/24 campaign  - News - Coventry City

Mark Robins’ men, meanwhile, are desperately trying to stay in touch with the chasing pack, having slipped down to ninth place following a dismal defeat against Preston North End, that leaves them four points off sixth placed Hull City. And with injuries mounting, Coventry’s boss may need to make adjustments to his team and formation to cope with the loss of key personnel.

Here Sky Blues reporter Andy Turner answers some of your big questions in his weekly Q&A.

What has been identified as required to change to correct course after Preston?

AT: Turn up for a start. But, seriously, get back to the sort of performance levels that have got them to within touching distance of the play-offs in he first place. Simple really. It’s about managing a thin looking squad the best they can in the last 12 league games.

It’s 13 months since Doug King took 100% ownership (27 Jan). Being mindful our post-SISU journey has to be sustainable, how does the club assess the last year against their own development targets?

AT: I don’t work for the club so you would have to ask them. However, my own opinion is that the club has done remarkably well to be anywhere near the play-offs given the turnover in players last summer and, crucially, the loss of their two outstanding performers. I think Mark Robins firmly believes the club have moved forward but it remains an ‘incremental’ project with plenty of work to be done, not least this summer when real quality is hoped to be added to take the team to another level again. Any success this season is a bonus.

Was Kelly that good or were Maidstone poor? And does he start against WBA?

AT: Of course it’s easier to stand out against lesser opposition but I firmly believe he’s still got more than enough quality to be a real asset for the remainder of the season. Assuming he’s recovered sufficiently, yes, I’d start him on Friday alongside Torp.

Do you think that Robins will play Kelly a bit more regularly for the second half of the season? I thought he had a really good game on Monday, steadying the ship, so to speak. I think his experience could teach the youngsters a thing or two!

AT: I completely agree and really do hope so. His biggest challenge will be staying injury free and hopefully he will transfer that quality displayed in the cup, which we all know he has, into the remaining Championship games. Whether the manager will play him more, however, remains to be seen and will depend on how Kels performs in the league games (assuming he gets more opportunities). But it certainly makes sense.

Do you think the Sky Blues will go back to a more compact shape with the lack of wide options now and use three centre backs again with attacking wing backs, as we seem more well stocked in those areas?

AT: It wouldn’t surprise me. Mark Robins switched formation in the second half against Maidstone, with Lati going to the heart of the back three, and Milan on as a wing-back. Might be a case of needs must and playing Simms and Wright up top tgether with O’Hare in behind. The other option, of course, is to switch Haji to the right and play KP on the left of a forward three if he opts to stick with 4-2-3-1. Alternatively, he could go with a 4-3-3 and throw in an extra midfield man.

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