City need to pick up the pace; Fans' zone.
Byline: Dom Jerams
Since the opening few games of the season, this current Coventry City side have struggled to replicate that incisiveness and precision with which we once played. Results have continued to come our way but it has sometimes appeared that we have relied on the inadequacies of opponents and luck to keep the points ticking over.
Our most impressive wins of late have been the 2-1 over Burton and the 3-0 over Shrewsbury.
Against Burton, we dug deep after conceding early on but were still reliant on a goal that could easily have been disallowed for offside. Against Shrewsbury, we scored early on and picked off our opponents on the counter.
As famed Tony Mowbray. | as Tony Mowbray's teams are for playing attractive passing football, his current side are more reliant on the counter-attack. This approach relies on the opposition to leave space in behind and our attacking players to make the right decisions when they get the ball.
Against teams who have set their stalls out to either defend in numbers or put us under pressure on the ball further up the pitch, we have struggled. Blackpool demonstrated how an organised defence can perplex this team, Scunthorpe and Bury showed how we can struggle when our defence is closed down early.
It sounds like an overly harsh criticism of side currently lying fourth in the table, despite our struggles going forward, our defence has been particularly impressive of late. If we want to actually achieve promotion this season though, we cannot rely on counter-attacking football alone. Opponents are already starting to figure out how to counter our counter-attacking game.
I am optimistic that Tony Mowbray has the nous to alter our game plan successfully - this is someone who has instilled defensive discipline into his team when he has previously preferred a more open style of play. Whenever there have been question marks against his management of the team, Tony Mowbray has always found a way to assuage them in the very next game.
Last Saturday's result was a disappointment, although I hasten to add that we didn't actually lose that match. The key to chasing promotion is the ability to bounce back from disappointments in the very next game and tweak things when they're not quite working. Tony Mowbray has demonstrated already he has the ability to do that.