Coventry’s return to The Coventry Building Society Stadium ended in a win against Nottingham Forest, after Kyle McFadzean’s 96th minute winner secured all three points for The Sky Blues.
It was a dream return home for Mark Robins’ side, who despite being a goal down in the 80th minute, picked up a win in their first game in Coventry since 2019.
Forest were the better side in the first half, and after Lyle Taylor’s opener, were unlucky not to have a two goal cushion at half-time. However, The Sky Blues came out a different side in the second half, they pinned Forest in and dominated possession, no doubt encouraged by the support of the 20,000 home fans – and picked up two goals to show for their tireless efforts.
Robins’ side will be looking to build on their strong start to the campaign next weekend against Barnsley, but first have to face League Two side Northampton Town in the Carabao Cup tomorrow night. Here are some potential dilemmas Robins will have to face going into the games ahead.
Continue with Ian Maatsen?
Ian Maatsen arrived at Coventry on loan from Chelsea following a successful loan-spell with Charlton Athletic last season. The full-back has rightfully gained his plaudits after an impressive campaign in their third tier, but struggled in his first Championship game, when up against Brennan Johnson and Joe Lolley.
Johnson, who played in a central attacking role, caused havoc in the first half when drifting out wide and linking up with winger Lolley. The pair seemed to get the better of the 19-year-old, who committed three fouls before being substituted in the 70th minute. Jodi Jones was the man who replaced Maatsen, making his first Championship appearance since January of last year.
As Forest sat back, Jones was unlikely to make any mistakes defensively, but looked good going forward and was able to maintain possession well. His 20 minutes of fitness showed he was ready to play in the league again and after Maatsen’s underwhelming debut, Jones could find himself back in the line-up again tomorrow night.
Maatsen has the potential to be a key player for Coventry this season, but at a young age could be quickly out of his depth playing in The Championship. Robins might want to rotate his right back options, at least for the first few weeks, to slowly ease the youngster into the division.
Who should partner Viktor Gyokeres in attack?
As seen over the years, Mark Robins sets up his Coventry side in a 3-4-1-2. The three at the back allow his wing-backs to press high up the pitch, but also allows for two strikers up front. Since arriving in January, Gyokeres has made 20 appearances in attack, but who should partner him?
New signing Martyn Waghorn started alongside Gyokeres for the opening game of the season, but flattered to deceive on his Coventry debut. The former Derby striker had three shots – the most in the Coventry side – without finding the back of the net. Waghorn was then replaced by Tyler Walker who, despite Coventry being on the front foot, failed to register a single shot or key pass.
Matt Godden could be the one to partner Gyokeres in the strike partnership, but the 30-year-old is still out injured – and even though he is nearing a return, it’s still unknown when he will feature again. Another new signing, Bright Enobakhare, could make a case as the new frontman. Enobakhare impressed whilst on loan at Coventry in 2019, picking up the Young Player of The Year Award and signed a two year deal after leaving Indian Super League side SC East Bengal.
It’s a good issue to have, but one that won’t be resolved until Godden returns from injury. Rotating Walker and Waghorn seems to be the best option here, or remaining persistent with the latter, who has proven himself at this level.