TEAM PREVIEW: Coventry City – Claus Jorgensen wants a long-term vision

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Coventry haven’t managed a top half finish in League One but with the experienced Tony Mowbray still at the helm and some experienced faces brought in, Coventry might soon have a team worthy of their new stadium and the potential to at least return to the second tier.

Last Season: League One (17th)

Manager: Tony Mowbray

 

Squad

GKs: Lee Burge, Reice Charles-Cook
DFs: Jordan Willis, Reda Johnson, Aaron Phillips, Aaron Martin, Ryan Haynes, Cian Harries, Dion Kelly-Evans, Chris Stokes, Sam Ricketts
MFs: Conor Thomas, John Fleck, Danny Swanson, Jim O’Brien, Jack Finch, Ivor Lawton, Devon Kelly-Evans, James Maddison, George Thomas, Kyle Spence, Romain Vincelot
FWs: Marcus Tudgay

 

Transfers

In: Chris Stokes (Forest Green Rovers), Sam Ricketts (Wolves), Romain Vincelot (Leyton Orient)

Out: Al Bangura (Released), Adam Barton (Portsmouth), Simeon Jackson (Released), Shaun Miller (Released), Frank Nouble (Tianjin), Danny Pugh (Bury), Blair Turgott (Leyton Orient), Andy Webster (Released)

 

First Six: Wigan Athletic (H), Millwall (A), Crewe Alexandra (H), Walsall (A), Southend United (H), Burton Albion (A)

Likely Lineup: (4-2-3-1) Burge – Willis, Ricketts, Johnson, Stokes – Thomas, Fleck – O’Brien, Maddison, Swanson – Tudgay

 

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A word from…Claus Jorgensen

On his arrival at Coventry Well, I was playing for Bradford at the time and there was nothing really concrete from other clubs. It was really Gary McAllister who was a big factor, he was one of the names I recognised and had known even before I came to England.

To go and work with someone like him was a great opportunity and Coventry were a big club, a household name, they’d only just come out of the Premier League a couple of years before.

When I signed, in the first 18 months I was there the club had four different managers. Unfortunately Gary had to leave as his wife was ill, which was really sad news for all of us. I wasn’t featuring under Eric Black and then Peter Reid came in and I got injured playing for the Faroe Islands.

It wasn’t really until Micky Adams took over that I started playing regularly, it was a bit of an up and down period and the club was struggling, I’m not sure they’ve ever really recovered.

On how difficult it is when a club is struggling When Micky Adams came in, he had a look at everything for six months and then he went out and signed his own players. He kept some trusted players which he could rely on, but now, because of the time scales managers have they go for wholesale changes because there never seems to be a long-term plan.

The first full season under Micky we finished 8th, because he’d steadily made changes and additions to the squad he inherited and there was a long-term plan. I left not long after but it seemed things went wrong soon after as he left the club, but I do think managers now think they’re in it for the short-term and there is a lot of pressure involved.

On staying in England I saw an article in the newspaper in Denmark saying you could play in the English lower leagues in front of three or four thousand people and be a full-time professional.

It was far removed from playing in the second division in Denmark, I guess that started the dream really. In Denmark we watch football every Saturday, there is a lot of influence over there for English football, you watch it and you can see the passion from the fans.

So I came over and had a trial for Bournemouth and signed not long after that. I would have loved to have played and tested myself in other countries but I didn’t see any better place to do it than England.

On following the club I’m coaching in the club’s academy now so hopefully I’m seeing one or two of the next generation come through, but I do go up to the Ricoh when I can to follow them. The manager has stayed which is great, hopefully that can stop the slide and the club can consolidate a little bit this season.

I wouldn’t expect them to challenge for anything this season, I’d expect them to be realistic. When we finished 8th that’s the closest the club has been to the play-offs in recent years. Have a long-term plan, that’s why it’s great news that the manager has stayed.

I’m sure if he’d forced the issue some clubs would have come in for him but we need to lay the foundations for the future now. Maybe not even for this season but next season, he’s a really experienced manager and exactly what the club needs. Steady the ship and keep a calm head.

 

The Offside Rule Podcast Prediction: Coventry should be ok this season, they’ve got a good manager and brought in a few good signings for League One level. Whilst play-offs might be a stretch, the club should be safe around mid-table.

Key Player: Conor Thomas – At 21, Thomas is already approaching his 100th appearance for Coventry. A constant in midfield, Thomas has performed above the level of someone his age and can only get better this season.

One to Watch: Jack Finch – Like Thomas, the midfielder has performed above his years of experience for Coventry. At just 18, Finch played 16 times in the league for Coventry last season and can expect to improve on that this season.

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