Scouting report: Coventry City

A closer look at the Sky Blues ahead of their midweek trip to Macron Stadium

Currently amidst their fifth consecutive season in English football’s third tier, Coventry City have certainly been through the mill more so off the field in recent years.

Embroiled in a long-running rent dispute with the landlords of their home ground, the Ricoh Arena, the Sky Blues were forced to decamp to Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium between 2013 and 2014.

Returning to their own patch in September 2014 however, the last few campaigns have seen improvement in regards to City’s final position in the league standings.

Finishing eighth back in May, the current season had initially seen tonight’s opponents start slowly – form which ultimately meant that manager Tony Mowbray lost his job just under two months ago.

Since that point however, and under the stewardship of caretaker manager Mark Venus, Coventry have clambered out of the division’s bottom four and currently sit 19th in the league table.

And although they lost 4-1 away at Oxford United on Saturday, Coventry’s recent form prior to the weekend had seen them pick up confidence as well as points.

With progression from the group stages of the Checkatrade Trophy confirmed with victory in all three of their fixtures, the Sky Blues also progressed in the Emirates FA Cup last week after a 2-1 replay victory over Morecambe.

The past week however has brought some disappointing news to the Ricoh Arena outfit, with former Whites defender Sam Ricketts and City’s captain announcing his retirement from the game due to injury, aged 35.

Tuesday’s meeting meanwhile is the first one between Wanderers and Coventry since January 1998, with the latter running out 5-1 winners at the Reebok Stadium that day.

  • D 1-1 – Morecambe A - Emirates FA Cup Round 1, 6/11/2016 
  • W 4-2 – Wycombe Wanderers A - Checkatrade Trophy, 9/11/2016 
  • L 1-0 – Scunthorpe United H - Sky Bet League One, 12/11/2016 
  • W 2-1 – Morecambe H - Emirates FA Cup Round 1 Replay, 15/11/2016 
  • L 4-1 – Oxford United A - Sky Bet League One, 19/11/2016 
Currently in caretaker charge of Tuesday evening’s opponents following the departure of manager Tony Mowbray in late September, Venus had led the Sky Blues out of the division’s drop zone since taking the reins. 

A defender in his playing days, the 49-year-old started out with Hartlepool United in the mid-1980s before spending three years on the books of Leicester City. 

Latterly enjoying an extended stint with Wolverhampton Wanderers between 1988 and 1997, he then spent six seasons with Ipswich Town before winding his career down with time at Cambridge United, Dagenham & Redbridge and Hibernian. 

Becoming the latter’s assistant manager in 2004, he returned to English a year later where he linked up with Mowbray at West Brom. In the years that followed meanwhile, Venus enjoyed assistant managerial roles at Celtic and Middlesbrough before moving to Coventry in June 2015 as technical director.

Coventry agreed terms with former Bolton Wanderers forward Sordell on a one-year deal back in June with the striker becoming the club’s second signing of the summer transfer window. 

A former Fulham and Watford youth player, the 25-year-old turned professional with the latter in 2009 and after impressing for the Hornets, alongside enjoying loan spells with both Wealdstone and Tranmere Rovers, he joined Wanderers in January 2012. 

His time with the Whites however was a testing one for the frontman, with him scoring eight goals in 29 appearances over a stunted two-and-a-half year stay at Macron Stadium. 

Loaned to Charlton Athletic in 2013/14, he moved to Burnley at the start of the 2014/15 campaign where he remained for a solitary season. 

Latterly spending time with Colchester United last season, the former England youth international and Great Britain representative made the switch to the Ricoh in July while he has six goals to his name so far this term.

LAST COVENTRY CITY XI (v Oxford United, L 4-1)
Burge, Sterry, Willis, Turnbull, Page, Stevenson, Bigirimana, Gadzhev, Wright, Sordell, Lameiras

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