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Coventry target Stoke FA Cup

    • 248 posts
    January 8, 2018 8:41 am IST
    A visit to Coventry City’s training ground brings instant confrontation with a past that seems hazier than ever. In the reception area, an entire wall bears the faces of supporters at the 1987 FA Cup final, basking in the day Keith Houchen and company really did turn the football world sky blue. Taking the time to greet guests is another of that vintage, Steve Ogrizovic, these days the goalkeeping coach and still one of the first into work at the club he helped make famous. Men's Allen Iverson Swingman Navy Blue Adidas Jersey: NBA Memphis Grizzlies #3 Road It is a disarming scene and another will present itself when Coventry, third in League Two, face Mark Barron Youth jersey the Premier League strugglers Stoke City on Saturday in a third-round tie that has most of the required ingredients for an upset. Mark Hughes will play the part of embattled visiting manager; the Ricoh Arena will provide the pudding of a rugby-scarred playing surface; and there is a little more history to draw on, too. In the fifth round of that glorious run 31 years ago, when Coventry were top-flight stalwarts and their opponents were rooted in the second tier, Micky Gynn settled a gritty encounter at the Potters’ old Victoria Ground to set history firmly on its course. Men's Nike Cincinnati Bengals #18 A.J. Green Elite Lights Out Grey NFL Jersey There was barely a blade of grass on the pitch that day too, but little else can be found in common now. The happy notion of recreating old times is one thing, but at Coventry the present remains so troubled that even the opportunity for a little escapism is tempered. They hit rock bottom last season, dropping into the fourth tier for the first time in almost 60 years, but under Mark Robins they now have a young, vibrant team of which those fans who still attend games are justly proud. The obstacle most cannot shift from their peripheral vision is Sisu, the hedge Hunter Pence Womens Jersey fund that recently marked 10 years of ownership – a spell coinciding almost exactly with their steep decline – and shows no sign of going away despite a series of well-documented controversies and a raft of cost-cutting measures. “There’s a real hatred – I think that’s not too strong a word – for Sisu among a great deal of fans,” says Moz Baker, chair of the Sky Blue Trust supporters’ organisation. “The anger doesn’t seem to have dissipated but there aren’t the same huge protests we saw in the past, because I think a lot of people got protest fatigue. What’s happening instead is that people are just drifting away and getting out of that Coventry City habit, which is a tragedy really.” In football, apathy tends to be a far more damaging malady than rage. When Stoke visit there are unlikely to be demonstrations similar to Los Angeles Dodgers Womens Jersey those that led to three of Coventry’s League One matches being temporarily halted last winter. Instead the picture in the stands will speak volumes. Around 11,500 tickets had been sold on Friday morning, which seems a fair improvement on this season’s average gate of 7,507 until it dawns that 3,500 of them have been bought by Stoke fans. Their mean attendance for the calendar year of 2007, which brought Sisu’s takeover in mid-December, was 20,342. “When I came back in the summer I was thinking that if we could get around the play-offs at Christmas we might hopefully get bigger crowds,” says Michael Doyle, their captain, who returned to the club last summer having spent eight years there from 2003 to 2011. “But it’s not happened yet to be honest and that’s a bit disappointing. But we’ll keep plugging away. Like with everything, success will determine things in terms of drawing people back.” That was shown in April when 45,000 supporters travelled back to Wembley for the Checkatrade Trophy final win over Oxford United, but a single afternoon rich in nostalgia was not enough. The biggest tail-off came during the disastrous season and a quarter groundsharing with Northampton Town at Sixfields; Coventry’s core support has not really picked up since their return in 2014 and there are fears of a repeat. Sisu is currently appealing against a high court decision to bar it from contesting the Ricoh Arena’s sale by Coventry city council to its present owners, the rugby club Wasps. Sisu claims the ground was significantly undervalued; the row will rumble through the courts into next year and has stalled discussions between Wasps and Coventry about extending the club’s deal to use the facility, which expires at the end of this season. A 12-month extension seems the likely, barely satisfactory outcome but Sisu’s own motivations remain unclear – even more so because it has reportedly rejected four takeover bids from a consortium led by the businessman Gary Hoffman, the most recent totalling around £20m, for a club that outwardly seems nothing but a millstone. “What they are holding out for, nobody knows,” Baker says. “If they think they are going to get anything like the £60m they invested then clearly that is ludicrous. Why they are still here, I don’t know.” jerseys from china basketball jerseys for sale mlb jerseys usa nike nfl jerseys cheap cheap basketball jerseys cheap jerseys paypal

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