HomeOTHEREPL Index NewsThe Unseen Rise: Coventry City One Game Away from Glory

The Unseen Rise: Coventry City One Game Away from Glory

Coventry City’s Rise: Reflections on the Journey to the Precipice of a Dream

Original article by Michael Walker, The Athletic

Five years ago, Coventry City languished in League Two, England’s fourth tier of football. Today they stand on the brink of a third promotion within that period, their eyes set on the illustrious Premier League. “One game away from a dream,” as manager Mark Robins puts it. This is a reflection on their journey, a testament to perseverance and grit.

Robins at the Helm

Mark Robins, then and now, has been the steady hand guiding the club’s ambitious journey. “The scale of the rise he has overseen is mountainous,” he admits. He recalls the early days of struggle, like the shocking 6-2 defeat against Yeovil Town, a match where they trailed 3-0 by half-time.

“That was really disappointing. One or two of the players had been out for a snifter or two (drinking) before that game and when I found out, it didn’t happen again. I wasn’t best pleased,” says Robins. The team, however, bounced back from these setbacks, constantly navigating the hurdles and obstacles thrown their way.

A Journey Marked by Adversity

Taking over in March 2017, Robins admits the state of the club was worrying. “It was as bad as any club I’d ever worked at. Terrible.” A fanbase disconnected from the club’s ownership and players, and a sense of hopelessness prevailed. But under Robins’ stewardship, the club began to find its feet, embarking on an impressive run that now puts them on the cusp of joining the world’s richest league.

A United Front: The Pillars of Coventry’s Success

Robins attributes Coventry’s resurgence to a united effort, quick to recognise the contributions of others. From the appointment of Dave Boddy as chief executive to the invaluable support staff, everyone played their part. A special mention goes to Adi Viveash, a former teammate turned coach.

“Adi has worked at an elite level with young players and developed them. He knows what an elite environment looks like from a coaching perspective. I knew him from when I played at Walsall when he was the captain of that promotion team,” explains Robins. “While I’ve had to manage the club – and there’s been a lot of work gone into that – he’s helped me enormously.”

From Surviving to Thriving

From battling for survival in League Two to reaching the play-off finals of the Championship, Coventry has come a long way. Despite a rocky start this season, the club held its own. “We managed to navigate our way through a difficult period,” Robins notes. Now, they’re set for the play-off final against Luton Town, another club with a similar trajectory in recent years.

Planning for the Future

Coventry’s journey hasn’t been without its share of stumbling blocks, but the club’s steady progress under Robins’ guidance has been undeniable. The manager’s clear-headed approach and ability to react swiftly to adversity have been critical in their rise.

In the run-up to the crucial match against Luton, Robins remains grounded. “The club feels in such a good place, it’s ready to take off. With the right backing, which I know we’re going to get, we can change this for the foreseeable future.”

However, he is also wary of the challenges that lie ahead. “Ultimately, if you go up (to the Premier League), the expectation from outside is that the team will struggle and return to the Championship.

More News