For Coventry City fans, the last four and a half decades have not heralded a great deal of success.
Sure, there was the 1987 FA Cup Final victory over Tottenham Hotspur – a momentous occasion for the club – but in the league, the Sky Blues have forgotten what it’s like to have a successful season.
Not since the 1969-70 campaign have the Midlands outfit finished in the top-six of any of England’s top four divisions.
But we think that might be about to change.
This season there’s renewed hope and optimism around the Ricoh Arena, even if the stadium itself is a reminder of the mismanagement of the past.
For a start, manager Mark Robins has forged a positive relationship with the supporters. It’s a relationship that was in no small part helped by the Sky Blues’ Wembley win over Oxford United in the EFL Trophy Final last season.
Since returning from failed spells with Huddersfield Town and Scunthorpe United, Robins has built a side that is in with a genuine shot of promotion.
Most impressive about this current Coventry team is their incredible defensive record. The Sky Blues have only conceded eight goals in League Two this season – eight fewer than anyone else.
That represents the best record in England outside of the top-three in the Premier League.
It’s a defence that is largely built on a foundation of youth. Rod McDonald, Jordan Willis, Jack Grimmer and Chris Stokes are all under 27-years-old, making their current defensive record all the more impressive.
And it’s youth that permeates the side. The jewel in the crown of the Ricoh Arena outfit is 20-year-old Jodi Jones.
Signed from Dagenham & Redbridge in 2016, Jones has taken time to adapt to his new surroundings but now stands as one of Cov’s most important players.
At such a young age, Jones has already made 110 senior appearances. Even this season, the youngster has bagged four goals – including a hat-trick – and provided four assists in League Two.
Given that the Sky Blues have only scored 17 times in the league that means Jones has been involved in 47% of all of Coventry’s goals.
While that’s an impressive number, it does show that City need to share the responsibility more going forward.
If Mark Robins can find a solution to that problem, then Cov have a significant chance of finishing inside the top-six for the first time in 48 years.
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