That eye looks sore, Steven…
It’s strange. After the game on Sunday I was adamant that words could not make me feel better. I was ashamed, embarrassed and above all angry at the way we’d allowed a non-league side to control us.
The information we’ve obtained over the last 24 hours would suggest that we weren’t the only ones.
Let’s be clear. Pressley’s press conference yesterday doesn’t immediately fix anything or atone for the defeat. It doesn’t quell the frustrations of Sunday, restore the squad’s confidence or our confidence in the squad. It doesn’t rebuild a defence that has conceded 2 goals a game for the best part of a month.
All those things remain brittle and ultimately, whether you place the blame at his door or not, Steven Pressley will be held responsible if those elements continue to fail. We know that. Football-wise, we need to see results immediately because he will be the one who cops it otherwise.
What this video does show however is that we have a manager who is living and breathing this football club. Of course, this could all be a very strategic play by a clever man who knows that he needs to bring some fans back onside. I know there are people thinking that.
Not me though. Watch it, absorb it, listen to it. For once this feels so much more than just lip service. This isn’t just pantomime anger. This is a bloke who is seething about something. Something has gone on in that dressing room that has knocked him into a rage and the after-effects are going to be identifiable over the next weeks or months, whether we find out the specifics behind it or not. The defeat was a shocker, but there’s clearly something else.
The uncertainty about what could have caused this tirade makes assessing its value difficult, but when I think of what sort of manager I want for Coventry City, Steven Pressley epitomises the values and approach that I look for. In a game as arbitrary as football, a good manager has to be about so much more than someone who can get lucky with a team selection. Especially for a club like Coventry City with such fundamental cultural constraints coursing throughout its core.
He is the dominant figurehead we’ve needed for years, with the apparent strength of character to drag this club kicking and scream out of the doldums. Over time – I have no doubt that he would prove that.
However there’s one problem which even his biggest fans will have to acknowledge. If things carry on as they are on the pitch he will be in trouble. Because that’s the world we live in. There’s no getting away from the fact that continued poor standards and below par performances, especially for a football club like Coventry City which is already at its lowest ebb, will mean someone being held accountable. The only option for us at this point is forwards. Anything else is failure.
The head and heart debate about Pressley will rage on amongst fans. Losing Pressley would be a long-term travesty for this club in terms of everything he is able to offer from a leadership and planning perspective. But in the meantime there are fundamentals that need to get sorted in order to keep him in the job; a job that he deserves a fair crack at, away from drastic financial constraints and wholescale relocation. I hope to Christ our players are ready for the fight that’s needed to achieve that, because the next few weeks are going to be as much about them as it is about him.
There can be no more second-best. No more acceptance of mediocrity. No more downright appalling defending and dips in concentration. Because much more of the same means losing a man who is imparting a hell of a lot of thought and sense into how our club is being run, laying the foundations for a prosperous future.
It’s time to step up and get this sorted. There’s a very clear job to do, much of which relies on self discipline and determination before anything else. You’ll excuse the embarrassingly simple message, but let’s stop all the nonsense and just do it. We have more than enough capable players. It doesn’t always have to be this hard.