Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has suggested that he can see Coventry City maintaining their position amongst the sides pushing for the play-offs this season following their strong start.
The Sky Blues enter the final international break before the New Year sat in fourth place in the Championship table following their dramatic win against Bristol City on Saturday. That game saw Mark Robins’ side come back from behind and still manage to win the game despite being a man down.
A win against Bristol City was needed for the Sky Blues because they had suffered a dip in form in the last few weeks. That came with them having won just once in their previous five matches after coming back from the last international break on the back of an excellent result against Fulham.
Robins’ side are currently sat four points clear of Blackburn Rovers who occupy the place just bellow the top six at the moment. There is therefore little room for error and Coventry will need to keep on picking up results if they are going to stay the course and maintain their place in the play-offs this term.
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Speaking on Sky Sports’ latest EFL podcast, Prutton suggested that he thinks the Sky Blues have now shown enough quality as a collective this season under Robins to maintain their place amongst the teams chasing the play-offs.
He said: “I mean time will obviously tell, and that’s not trying to row back from any form of prediction, but the fact is that you look at, you mentioned just as we were discussing them to start with about having a slightly inconsistent run, but fourth in the Championship I mean to have that inconsistent run in recent weeks and then still be in there is phenomenal really and the job that he’s done with the players that he’s got again it’s the collective where the strength really shines through.
“I think in recent weeks there have been not murmurs, but attention paid to the likes of Callum O’Hare who really is their key creative presence in the middle of the pitch in the position he plays because of the standards he had set so far this season,
“Gyokeres we spoke about at length earlier on in the season that’s ebbed and flowed and when that’s ebbed in that regard you’ve seen Matty Godden come back to it and helped to get the goals that’s fired them to that particular victory.
“And I think given the fact that they managed to navigate that game with a man down, and what we’ve seem and yes we look at the Fulham game and that was a really statement victory, and the very fine margins to see that game off and put Fulham to the sword shows just what the championship is like.
“But I think given the way we’ve spoken about the top two and then obviously you chuck West Brom into that as well running around in third, that I think it is a really pleasingly open set of places that is open for the play-offs because you look at those remaining places to at least half way down the table, and there’s so many there duking it out and what Coventry have done so far is fantastic.”
Considering that they are still sat in fourth place in the table after this many games, Coventry have to now be taken very seriously as potential promotion and top-six contenders this term. It could well be the best chance they get for a while to go on and earn promotion to the Premier League given the start they have had.
The Sky Blues needed that win against Bristol City because there have been one or two signs that they were struggling to find consistent wins during their previous five games. However, every team has a blip during the campaign and it is about how you respond to that and Coventry are showing the right signs of a good response.
The international break has come at a good time for the Sky Blues as it allows them to reset and then go again ahead of what will be a crucial period in the campaign in the run up to the January transfer window.
Prutton is right that Coventry can and will probably now be able to at least keep themselves in amongst the teams chasing for the play-offs all season long.