It was a milestone moment in Coventry City’s season as they wiped out their 10 point deduction after just six matches.
A 2-0 win over Colchester was enough to lift them off the bottom of the table and city can now finally begin to look upwards. especially as the young players begin to sign new contracts with defender Jordan Willis being the first to do so and Callum Wilson
It was a match that Coventry were favourites to win and duly delivered with what can only be described as close to the perfect all round performance as Coventry have managed in a very long time.
From the very start it was clear that Stephen Pressley’s team were intent on taking the game to Colchester. It wasn’t long before we began to create a multitude of chances and Leon Clarke was the one at the forefront of this. It would turn out to be a frustrating day on a personal note for Clarke though as chances came and went. Colchester’s keeper and the woodwork would thwart Clarke throughout the game so it was left up to our other striker Callum Wilson to grab the goals to win us the game.
Wilson managed another brace in the game scoring two good striker’s goals. The first a real poachers goal as Wilson reacted first from a parried shot from Blair Adams. His second was a finish that was coolness personified. He took his time to round the Keeper and confidently slotted home like there was no doubt in his mind that he was going to score.
That is now 8 goals for Wilson who tops not just the clubs scoring chart but the leagues and the country as a whole. Wilson has been a revelation and his partnership with the experienced Clarke has been one of many things that has been positive so far this season.
This result brought the Skyblues off of the bottom of the table for the first time this season as there 10 point deduction has been wiped out in no time at all. It is a chance now to forget about the point’s deduction and look forwards at what this young team may be able to achieve.
Stephen Pressley has moved to quash expectations and suggests there will be set backs along the way and I think if we are all being realistic we know there will be. Pressley along with assistant MacFarlane and club captain Baker attended a fans forum this week where there was some really interesting insight into the clubs footballing policies and beliefs.
There was much focus on the style of play that the team has adopted under Pressley and he was keen to stress the fundamentals behind this style of play.
We all know and appreciate the way Barcelona play and the success that this has brought them and Pressley is a huge admirer of them but not just for their obvious passing style of play. He eluded to an interview given by striker Villa who at the time had been at Barcelona for a year. Asked what he had learned the most since arriving he said how to get the ball back.
Many people may have been surprised to hear this but there is reasoning behind it. In this country we all look at Barcelona in awe sometimes in the way they control matches and we focus on the passing game that they play. Whilst this is vital part of the game and a very attractive part of the game it is missing something when it is deployed on its own. Ex-city manager Andy Thorn tried to bring the passing game to us but we ended up passing side to side and never really dominated teams.
Another good example in English football is that of Martinez’s teams. Wigan despite their clear lack of quality always had a passing game which often allowed them to dominate possession. This is the same since his arrival at Everton who are yet to win a game under his guidance despite having the best possession statistics in the league.
I put this down to what Pressley reiterated in the forum that there is often especially in this country a lack of respect for the football that needs to be played when out of possession of the ball. Going back to Villa’s quote and Barcelona’s ethos isn’t just the passing game it is the hard work that goes into their pressing game in order to retrieve the ball back in advanced areas. It is this pressing game which allows teams like Barcelona to keep possession for long periods.
Coventry’s pressing game has been for me the most notable change at the club since Pressley’s arrival. The players are set up in such a way that when they lose the ball they all seem to know when the right time to press the ball is and they do it as a team which is vital to the success of the pressing game.
Fitness is another key feature to the pressing game and Coventry’s fitness seems to be at a level that we have not had for a long time. Pressley eluded to this fact when he suggested that teams in this country do not train hard enough. Training in any sport is pivotal to the success of the team or individual athlete. Tennis players are the example used by Pressley in that they have managed to train their bodies to a level of fitness which allows them to play gruelling 4 hour and above matches twice in the space of 3 days.
It is the idea that our human bodies can often take a lot more than we give it credit for and we should push a bodies closer to the limit. In this country especially training almost takes a back seat when the season gets underway as players are rested and nursed through so they can play in the match at the weekend.
Pressley feels and I agree that eventually you end up de training and obviously this is detrimental to any athlete. I think a great example of the work ethic that Pressley has instilled is as baker said that despite what was a fantastic performance against Colchester they were back in training on Monday morning where Pressley and his staff had the players doing box to box running.
There are many of us who don’t think footballers do enough to earn the wages they get paid but it sounds like Pressley is more than making them work for it and it is clearly paying dividends on the pitch as we continue to improve week in week out.
Let’s hope the lads keep it up and in Pressley we have a manger who is still learning his trade but a manager who is more than confident in what he is trying to achieve. In Pressley we can trust and that is something I am becoming more sure of each time I see us play.