Disbelief and disappointment have been etched on every Coventry city supporters face since Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat to Crewe in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final. In front of a packed out Ricoh Arena with nearly all being behind the Skyblues it was a game that if u were there would have left you with very mixed emotions.
Huge disappointment was the obvious overwhelming feeling when it comes to the result with City now very unlikely to make the final at Wembley. However the result wasn’t even half of the story. It was in fact a brilliant performance from all of the city players who dominated the match up until the 3rd goal went in for Crewe when their heads clearly dropped.
There is no question that we were by far the superior side and created the majority of the chances but it turned out to just be one of them days in front of goal. We pushed and pushed to get a goal and in the end his may have been what cost us. A 1-0 defeat would have been disappointing but also would have been easily rectifiable in the second leg. Instead with the huge crowd urging them forward the players went all out to get level and ended up leaving themselves short at the back and it cost us two more goals which almost effectively kills the tie.
The players gave it everything and you could see they were hurting come the end of the match and I for one felt for them especially our captain Carl Baker and the younger lads. None of them deserved that, they have been brilliant all season and are putting this club back on the right footing. I really felt that our luck was changing but it seems like the Coventry curse is not quite over yet and we now have a mountain to climb if we are to get to the final and keep our hopes of a trophy alive.
It is an extremely difficult but not impossible task. We created more than enough to have easily scored 3 goals in that game and maybe it will fall for us in the next leg. We replicate that performance and we do still have a chance.
Crewe came to the Ricoh with a clear game plan and I don’t think in any of their wildest dream that they would come away with a victory like that. It will have definitely changed their mind-set for the second leg where I expect them to set up exactly the same. Sit back, soak up pressure and hit us hard on the counter attack. We will have to defend better hats for sure and hope our luck changes in front of goal.
Right now I am still feeling gutted and finding it hard to believe that we can turn it around but I know there is a chance and until it is over I will still believe as every fan should. We can still do it and I for the first time in many years I am confident that the players will give it everything in an attempt to turn it around.
Moving away from the cup though which has been and hopefully will continue to be a nice addition to city’s league form. The league is city’s bread and butter and after Friday’s victory away at Sheffield United the playoffs are looking like a real possibility.
We went to Sheffield united and dominated for large parts of the game especially in the first half when we should have scored more than the one we got. We showed we could soak up pressure in the second half and in the end it was a lack of concentration that allowed Sheffield united the equaliser.
Robins though has brought in a never say die attitude and once again Coventry found something extra in the last few minutes of the game to grad the winning goal which put us within a point of Sheffield united.
We are up there now and a playoff challenge is definitely on. The teams in and around us do still have games in hand and for that reason we may have to win a bigger proportion of our remaining games than our closest rivals. This is by no means out of the question though and we have games against these teams in the coming weeks including Brentford, Doncaster, Swindon, Bournemouth and Yeovil who we play this coming Saturday.
This means our playoff destiny is still very much in our hands and a win on Saturday against Yeovil may well be the biggest step towards the play offs we are yet to take.
It is time for Robins to truly show if he is going to be a great manager for us. He has already done some wonderful thongs with this squad since his arrival but I is going to take a great manager to pick the players up from the defeat to Crewe. Having put so much in and played so well to get beaten by 3 goals to nil the players will need that push from their boss that many managers often struggle to deliver.
The motivation shouldn’t be an issue with the playoffs in sight but the players will still be hurting come Saturday. It’s a big game and could be a defining one. Our season is at the point where it is on the brink. To fail to make the Johnstone’s paint trophy final and then to fail to make the playoffs will be seen as a failure by many. This is h vital moment and the next couple of matches will show us whether our season will have a chance of success or to be a failure once more.