Steven Pressley’s Coventry City side raced out of the blocks following a points deduction and a move to Northampton to begin the season. The turning points of the season came when Coventry dramatically drew 3-3 with Bradford City at Valley Parade in November and in January when star striker Leon Clarke handed in a transfer request. A cavalcade of loan players struggled to fill Leon Clarke’s shoes with Aston Villa loanee Nathan Delfouneso the only one from the four strikers brought in to score for Coventry City. The season petered out with the club only securing their place in the league on the penultimate weekend of the season thanks to a point against Wolves.
A season of turmoil and change as Coventry City returned to the Ricoh Arena but plumbed new depths of ineptitude, losing to non-league Worcester City in the FA Cup and taking survival to the final minutes of the season. In the managerial ranks, Steven Pressley’s reign ran out of steam and he was replaced by ex-West Brom and Celtic boss Tony Mowbray. Off the pitch, the joy of the homecoming was soured by the purchase of the Ricoh by Wasps. Very few emerge from this season with much credit and fans can only hope that things cannot get any worse.
Tony Mowbray’s Coventry City burst out of the blocks and topped the League One table after 18 games following a 4-1 win over Gillingham. With players such as Joe Cole, James Maddison, Joe Cole, Jacob Murphy and Adam Armstrong in tow, the Sky Blues had one of the strongest squads they’d had in recent years. Yet despite looking one of the strongest teams in the division for much of the season, the Sky Blues’ form deserted them over the winter as they slid out of contention for the play-offs. An eighth-place finish was secured on the final day following four wins out of the final five games.
A season of turmoil both on and off the pitch saw the Sky Blues go through four different managers and sink ignominiously into League Two. The one highlight of a miserable campaign came when a young Coventry City side triumphed at Wembley in the Checkatrade Trophy, yet even that could do little to salve the wounds of a toxic season. However, an improved run of form after the return of Mark Robins as manager in March has provided a small amount of hope that a promotion bid from League Two could be launched next season.
A season where wounds from a tempestuous previous season were well and truly healed via a Coventry City side finishing in the top six of a division for the first time in 48 years, before going on to win the club’s first promotion – via the play-offs – in over half a century. It was a season that began based on strong defence with Jodi Jones and Duckens Nazon providing the attacking inspiration for the side, an injury to Jones in November coincided with the goalscoring form of Marc McNulty and the emergence of the gifted teenage playmaker Tom Bayliss. Along with an extended run in the FA Cup, it all made for a memorable season.
The Sky Blues made a solid return to life in League One, occassionally threatening to challenge for the play-offs but were ultimately lacking the killer touch in front of goal to bridge the gap. Highlights of the season largely came away from home, with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Charlton Athletic in October and an incredible 5-4 win over Sunderland in April particularly stand-out moments. It was a campaign in which Mark Robins looked to lay foundations for future seasons – allowing talisman Michael Doyle to depart the club and evolving the style of play – and is unlikely to last long in the memory.
A remarkably consistent campaign saw the Sky Blues win their first league title since 1967 as they topped the League One table having lost just three games all season in a season brought to a premature end by the Coronavirus pandemic. It was a true team effort with a number of individuals stepping up at key periods of the campaign to push Mark Robins’ side over the edge, a solid defence, a dominant midfield and an attack that mustered just enough goals to decide key games, the Sky Blues were deserved champions.