Next up making his Sky Blues Blog bow, please welcome writer, media guy and Coventry’s greatest London-based supporter. It’s the compelling Mark Woods.

His challenge: make us all feel good again.


By Mark Woods

You can relax. This isn’t going to be another forensic examination of the events of the past which have led to us being presented with the dreaded moniker of “crisis club”. I’ll leave that to those far smarter than I.

No, for a brief moment lets just focus on some of the good that has, almost entirely by accident, come of our dire plight.

Whoever you think is to blame, wherever you think we should play and regardless if you think it’s a waistcoat or a cardi, come join me as we look at a few reasons to be cheerful.

1. We should be beating the likes of this lot.

My first game was the 4-1 at home to Everton in 1985. I then enjoyed 15 years of playing the big boys and occasionally beating them. Although of course I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have done because I regarded it as a perpetual entree to a European football playing, established top 6 finishing main course.

The legacy of this golden era for me and those who were lucky enough to get high on it for many years more is that from the moment when we went down to the moment when the grim reality of Sixfields came into focus we, as a set of fans, couldn’t help but believe we should be sticking the old five past almost everyone we played.

There are a few amongst our number who smelled the coffee earlier of course, but by and large it’s been a very long period of cold turkey indeed – and for Northampton read the Priory.

Now we don’t expect to win, we’re just happy to still have a club when we wake up each morning. We have changed forever and it can only be a good thing.

1a. As a result of the above phenomenon I’ve always enjoyed away games much more than home ones. We’ve always had brilliant, vocal and funny away support too.

But this season is a different gravy. I knew from the way the team was supported whilst losing at Leyton Orient in the League Cup that this was going to be a superb season to follow the city away.

We are about to take over a goodly slice of Port Vale, and I for one haven’t been as excited by a game in ages as I am about the upcoming trip to Wolves.

Lets all go in waistcoat/cardi combos shall we, in homage to…

2. Elvis

We’ve had some managers haven’t we. Big ones, small ones, some as wrong as your arm.

I’ve liked some, hated more and in the case of Mark Robins felt as jilted a lover as ever I’ve done by their actions.

When Steven Pressley was announced as our 245th manager in three years the celebrations started quietly then petered out. Wasn’t he the one who got sent off four times in a single game? Or gave three penalties away in the warm up? And is that a beard or has he used his face to sponge paint emulsion?

What we know now is – and if I could work out how to I’d write this in very small font indeed – we finally have landed a genuinely talented manager.

So far he’s been courageous, single minded, humble, funny, passionate and he’s over delivered on what he’s promised.

And he’s Scottish.

And he’s got Fergie on speed dial.

And I love him.

3. The Team

We have one.

They are playing brilliantly entertaining football, are young, enthused and crucially mostly under contract to us rather than having been picked up at Tredwell Services on a month loan.

And I love them.

4. The Trust

I was never sure about the Trust before this summer happened. It was more my problem than there’s I think, but when I thought about them I imagined a cross between CAMRA and the Judean People’s Front.

The truth is our recent woes have seen the Trust become a real force for good, a turn of events that no matter what transpires is a positive thing.

Whenever people form a group of any sort there will be disagreements and we won’t always agree with what they do or how they do it – but it’s worth remembering that the people who put the time and effort into its running have the best interests of our club at heart and also have jobs and families and a front near side tyre that needs replacing just like the rest of us.

Hats off. Together we are stronger.

5. Congratulations

Finally and perhaps most importantly I have it on extremely  good authority that every single citizen of Coventry is to be awarded with a CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting purely for the ambient exposure to the finer points of corporate governance they’ve experienced these past six months.

To claim yours, please contact the Butts or of course, Northampton College of F.E

PUSB

You can follow Mark on Twitter @mark_r_woods
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4 comments

  1. To be perfectly honest I can’t think of a recent season with so many strong positives where I’ve spent so much of the week in anticipation of games. Of course there is one massive negative for many that outweighs all the upsides, but, for the few to whom where we play is of a peripheral consequence this factor, who can suspend their disbelief that this is a frightfully poor quality League and that, quite frankly, our good run can’t last, it’s a cracking time to be following The City.

    I’m wondering now about the 8,000+ not going to Northampton now, how do they divide in number?
    a) Never coming back totally given up on The City and permanently “out”
    b) Not going on principle, would return if we returned to Coventry.
    c) Not going on principle even if we return to Coventry until Sisu are out.
    d) Would go but genuinely unable to because of costs, logistics and/or Sunday games.
    e) “Other” Not going because, well, it’s all a bit of a phaff and my mates aren’t going and I’d get called a scab and basically it’s not worth the hassle etc etc.

    All of the above reasons in my mind are just as valid as each other by the way, and equally as valid as any reasons people have for attending games. It shouldn’t really be for anyone to judge on the decisions of others should it?

    Or is that a judgement in itself?

  2. Each of the reasons are valid. The fact is our home games are errectively away games so will only get away levels of support.

    How many do wd take to walsall etc ? Thats all can be expected and when the weather is foul what then ?

  3. Combination of b) and e). I live away from Coventry and me and my kids make it a family visit and day at the game all-in-one when we are at the Ricoh, same way I used to visit my granddad and go with him back in the 80’s. Northampton is a faff and I believe we should be playing within our City boundaries, when we return, so will my ticket purchases, extortionate pie purchases and my kids customised kits for their birthdays.

  4. It certainly ain’t all bad. I totally agree with Mark’s assessment of Mr Pressley. I watched his post-match comments from the Gillingham game last night – this man knows his football; he knows what he wants from his squad and he is getting them to deliver it – gaining us great results on the pitch. ( I note that Tom in Beijing is going to buy a cardy if we win at Port Vale – me too Tom!)
    But …
    i) What will happen in the January transfer window?
    ii) More importantly – what will happen when the ‘managerial sack race’ begins?
    If Mr Pressley sees out the season I am confident we will win promotion. If he stays for the long haul, and the club sorts out its problems, then we are looking at a return to the top flight in another two to three seasons.
    I recently suggested in a post on this site that Mr Pressley might be the new Brian Clough. Which is high praise. However more relevant to our current situation he might just be the new Jimmy Hill!
    PUSB
    Robbie

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