Will Mark Robins lead Coventry City to promotion?by Mike Holden / 14 July 2017, 10:23Tweet
Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Mark Robins and Coventry and ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League Two season.
Mark Robins returned to the Ricoh Arena in March, rousing a demoralised team to a fairly meaningless late flourish, although the Checkatrade Trophy success at Wembley in April did provide fans with a rare moment to cherish after a decade of continual decline under SISU. Based on the consistency of effort that followed his arrival, the Sky Blues probably wouldn’t have been relegated had Robins been in charge since August. Now a rebuild is taking shape and he is probably the ideal man to put down solid foundations on scant resources.
Robins is precisely the kind of manager you want in charge of a troubled club. His integrity and tireless dedication to duty trumps whatever else might be going on behind the scenes, as was the case in his first job at then-homeless Rotherham. His strong suit is logistics, resolving problems with practical courses of action. He creates order but his need for control is valued so much that it usually comes at the expense of flair and creativity, which cost him in his last job at Scunthorpe.
"We are building a club, not just a team – for now and for the future. Each player who forms the squad next season will have an important role to play. We've tried to bring in players with experience, particularly at this level. When I came in we put together a process to identify different players, so we were prepared to move quickly once the season ended. We’ll be treated as a cup final to some clubs this season, it’s a different stadium and a new team coming into the division."
A trip to the Ricoh is going to be the most eagerly-anticipated away day for most clubs at this level, so a lot will depend on how Coventry deal with that and whether they can dominate their home games to the extent you would ordinarily expect of a team challenging for promotion. You would expect Robins to make progress but there’s a lot of novelties for the Sky Blues to get accustomed to and a first top-six finish in any division since 1970 may elude them once again.
Prediction: top half