The latest addition to the squad is a player that we saw all of twelve minutes of last season, Ryan Giles. In fact, Giles’ most notable contribution from a Coventry City perspective last season came in the role he played as an opposition player in our last defeat, to Shrewsbury Town back in December, where his pace on the counter-attack helped turn the game around. Giles provides the versatility of being able to play as a winger or wing-back, while also adding an important element of pace to a squad that is otherwise lacking in genuinely speedy players.
Very much a winger who has been converted into a wing-back, rather than a full-back who has been pushed slightly further forward, Giles isn’t necessarily a direct replacement for Sam McCallum. The indication from Mark Robins’ usage – or lack thereof – of Giles during his loan spell last season were that the manager only really saw him as a viable option at left wing-back, however, that may have been down the system we played without natural wingers that Giles wasn’t considered for a more advanced role in the side. Giles versatility means that Mark Robins isn’t wedded to sticking with a back three next season and can switch depending on how the season evolves.
As another signing lacking in Championship experience and also someone who couldn’t break into the team after signing in January, the jury on Ryan Giles will remain out until he picks up a run of starts in the team. At the very least, Giles provides Mark Robins with a different option to our current set of players as someone who is genuinely quick. Pace could prove to be a key factor in our ability to make the step up this season, the addition of Ryan Giles is a good step in that direction.