Well, any Coventry fan has to be pleased with the results that we have achieved since Robins took over and things are once again looking up at Coventry City.
For me the Arsenal game was a big game in the course of our season.
Yes people will say the result wasn’t great but if we put that aside there were plenty of positives. The players fought hard, there were glimpses of quality from certain individuals and not only that but we continued to play till the very end in spite of knowing the game was lost. But for me the biggest positive was the fans. The number that turned out along with the unwavering support no matter the score line was incredible.
That sort of support is what this team was in need of, they needed to know that the fans were behind them and did believe in them. We could all see the effect it had on them and they raised their games and until the last half hour they really gave Arsenal a game. I have said before but I fully believe the idea of the fans being the 12th man and against Arsenal we showed we could be that.
I think that gave the players a little belief and passion back and if we keep getting behind the boys like that then they are going to keep responding and keep putting performances in on the pitch.
The lads have shown this with two wins and a draw in our last three including a win away from home which has been a long time coming. By no means are the team performing as they should be but it has been a vast improvement on what we had become accustomed to. There is fight and passion back within the players and yes the quality is lacking a lot of the time but that will come as confidence within the squad grows.
Robins has brought in players and is allowing others to leave in order to put his own stamp on this squad. So far I have been impressed with his decisions, the new lads especially. Moussa who I personally thought shone against Arsenal despite the result has been brilliant additions and freshened the whole place up.
I am also happy with the decision to allow Malaga to leave, he was clearly never going to be good enough and just not the right type of player for us. I still see him as a bit of a panic buy from Thorn as he saw his two first choice centre halves leave but that’s in the past and I wish Malaga luck wherever he ends up.
I do now find myself looking forward to hearing who else Robins wants out which is weird to be excited about players leaving but there are a number within the squad that don’t deserve to be playing for Coventry City. Some who just don’t seem to care enough, some who just look like they will never be able to fully believe in their own ability and then the ones who are just not good enough. If Robins can pick these players out and move them on to pastures new, then the squad as a whole will be much better off for it
Another aspect of the squad that has needed addressing for a long time is that of the discipline of the players. Far too often we have seen individual errors due to lack of concentration cost us dearly. Robins has looked to eradicate this not only through the right training but also through a new system of fines for the player. Fines are always questionable but these seem appropriate for the situation. Players are always slated for the amount of money they demand for wages and these fines are almost a way of ensuring that their performances remain at a level deserving of the wages they receive. If they drop below this level then their wages will effectively be docked.
There are numerous things that motivate us as human beings to do what we do but undoubtedly one of the biggest motivators no matter what your situation is money. To link this money with performances seems only logical and could end up being the key to better discipline within the squad.
Using these fines as an example and it seems that in Robins we have a manager who has come in not to be friends with the players but to lead them. We have seen manager after manager come in and often become over friendly with the players but Robins seems to be taking a different approach. I wouldn’t go as far as saying he is doing it in same style to Alex Ferguson but it does seem similar and the players seem to already respect the man and long may that continue.
We can all see that the players are slowly but surely regaining belief and a bit of confidence and if this continues then I fully believe that Robins can take us onwards and upwards. We are however still very much in that honeymoon period of a new manager so at this moment in time it is hard to tell whether we are going to be able to keep it up. It is also Coventry City that we are talking about so to assume anything is just being naive, there are always surprises around the corner but hopefully this time they will be nice surprises.