Matchday, Let's Do This

Jack Ross has cited the recent history of Coventry City as an example of how hard it can be to bounce back after a fall from grace in football. “No one has a divine right to bounce back. You look at Coventry and where they’ve been. The Ricoh Arena is a fantastic stadium but they’re obviously not attracting huge crowds at the moment. That’s probably a reminder of where that club has been and where they’re at now. That goes across the board. I’ve seen it plenty of times in Scotland as well. Teams go down and find it very hard to get back. It probably doesn’t happen as quickly in Scotland and teams don’t drop as far but you’ve still got teams that come out of the top league and before you know it, seven, eight years down the line, they’re still not back. I don’t think we should ignore that. We don’t want that to happen to us. We don’t want to be in a situation where it’s a long battle to get back up the way. I think it’s important for us to try to do it right away, and I’ve never shied away from that. In this league, you don’t have to look very far for reminders of how things can go.”

The gaffer also spoke about the positive reaction that the players gave after losing at Burton. “It was always going to be interesting to see the reaction (to a defeat). They also got to see me and my reaction on the back of a defeat. Sometimes that’s just as important. As a manager I go on about consistency of behaviour all the time but it’s all right for me to speak about that, now they’ve got to see it first-hand. My behaviour didn’t change on the back of a defeat. There were things we had to address and look at but in terms of my interaction with the players, it was the same as if we were winning. That was good. They got to see that. I got to see their reaction too. We had a good chat after the game at Burton in the changing room. It wasn’t heated or confrontational, but it was an opportunity for me to speak and the players to speak too. I believe it’s a group that manages itself to a degree, and I think we’re getting better at doing that. As a manager, you want a group of players you trust, and I do trust that group.”

Ross then touched on his selection dilemma he has with Denver Hume and Bryan Oviedo. “Denver has probably been the biggest surprise in the squad,” said Ross. “He’s the one that’s really emerged from pre-season, along with Bali (Mumba). Denver’s the one that’s probably caught people by surprise because he’s emerged in an area of the pitch where not only do we have Bryan, but we’ve also got Reece James, who’s an established player at this level. For him to be playing in the team at the moment shows you how well he’s done.”

In other news, Max Power as available again following his suspension and is praying for a way back into the starting line-up but knows he might have to settle for a place on the bench. “For me now, it’s a case of trying to fight my way back into the side. After a 4-1 win, I couldn’t have timed it any better! That will make it harder, but there are no moans and groans from me, I’d never demand I should be playing or anything like that. It’s up to me to get back. If I’m called upon, I’ll be more than ready, but the lads were brilliant last Saturday. I’ll wait for my opportunity and try to take it when it comes. With Lee and George, it will have been difficult being part of relegations. But George has a real spring in his step now and he was excellent last Saturday. It’s tough for players like them sometimes because it is tough to change opinions in football. It takes big characters to brush all that aside. They’ve done that. Lee is full tilt every day. There’s always a reason why a player plays at the highest level for such a long time. His application is second to none and his performances have shown that. He obviously had things ongoing, whether he would be here or not, but throughout my time at the club he’s been top notch, someone who you can lean on and someone who is absolutely desperate for the club to do well as well. You see that in his performances and in the way he celebrates his goals. He really wants to be part of something, a successful campaign and a promotion.”

All 2,628 tickets for Bradford City away, on Saturday 6 October, are now sold out. You can book transport for Coventry and Bradford via ALS here…