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Interview: Coventry fan offers insight into their off-field troubles ahead of Sunderland trip

We caught up with Coventry fan George ahead of their trip to Sunderland, filling us in not only how they’re doing on the pitch but also how things are taking a dark turn off it.

Coventry City v Exeter City - Sky Bet League Two Play Off Final Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

League One has brought us our fair share of “if you thought we’d had it bad recently, take a look at these lads.” Be it Portsmouth, Charlton or Luton, the third tier has reacquainted us with some clubs that have truly been through the wringer.

Coventry City are no exception to this and even though yer da’ hates them, it’s difficult not to look at them and feel a bit of pity. They even had to play home games in Northampton at one point for gods sake. Northampton! That’s like us being based in Darlo!

Even though things off the pitch are pretty grim, Cov have at least got something to smile about on it. They were promoted last year and still have a chance of making the play offs this season, so getting rid of the Sisu ownership would certainly give things a more complete feeling of positivity.

To find out what the fans are making of all the goings on at Coventry, including Sisu, the potential of play offs and the upcoming game, we spoke to sky blues fan George Baker.

RR: A lot of news around Coventry these days tends to centre around the issues with the owners. I know it’s not a simple question but what’s the latest with them? I was recently reading that they have agreed to end a legal dispute with the local council regarding the Ricoh Arena?

GB: It’s a very complex and unclear situation.

What we have at the moment is a stand-off between the three parties involved that being SISU, Wasps RFC and Coventry City Council. As it stands at the minute, that stand-off doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.

There is talk from SISU that they would be willing to work with the council if they supported the building of a new stadium. However, our owners have mentioned new stadiums in the past and here we are years later with nothing to show for it. So it really isn’t a good situation at the moment.

All us fans are completely fed up with it all.

RR: How positive do you feel about the Sky Blue Trust that has been set up? Do you think the trust will be able to help navigate some of the bigger issues that fans have against Sisu?

GB: I think the Sky Blue Trust do a great job and have done so since they formed a few years back.

The trust have repeatedly challenged the likes of SISU, the council and even Wasps recently regarding the future of the club and I have full faith they will continue to do this.

I personally feel it is a huge plus that we have such a successful fan group able to speak for such a large fan base of supporters.

Wasps v Gloucester Rugby - Aviva Premiership Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images

RR: Do you think it’s likely that you will be seeing the back of Sisu any time soon as well? Would promotion help speed up a potential sale?

GB: It’s really hard to tell what SISU’s intentions are. There really aren’t many assets left at the club so quite why they have stuff around is baffling.

Any Coventry fan will tell you that we just want rid of these owners, and perhaps promotion would speed that up, but we were promoted last year and yet they are still here so it’s not looking likely at the minute.

RR: In regards to promotion, do you think you can put a crucial run of form together and nab a play off spot?

GB: If you’d have asked me this a few weeks ago I’d of said we definitely had a chance but in the last few games we’ve dropped crucial points to the likes of Bristol Rovers and Oxford United and that’s really ended our hopes. We’d need a lot of results to go our way and I can’t see that happening.

All in all though, we’ve had a brilliant season given our return to the league and if we finish in the top ten I’ll be delighted.

Burton Albion v Coventry City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

RR: Looking towards Saturday’s game, who would you pick out as the main danger man in your side and in the Sunderland one?

GB: For us, at the moment I would say Jordy Hiwula. He’s our top scorer this year with ten goals in all competitions and in recent weeks he seems to have clicked in the wide left position, which doesn’t come naturally to him.

Hiwula formed a brilliant relationship with Bright Enobakhare, Luke Thomas and Amadou Bakayoko who make up our attacking four and had we utilised this system earlier in the season, who knows where we’d be in the league.

For you,It has to be McGeady. He is way too good for this league and I think he’ll be the biggest test our young full backs (Brandon Mason and Dujon Sterling) will have had all season, so it should make an interesting battle.

RR: How do you expect Mark Robins to approach this game and what do you think his starting line up will be?

GB: I think Robins will set us up to play on the counter. He’ll know you’ll dominate the ball so with our pace up front we’ll have to capitalise on any mistakes you make in midfield, but also be clinical when we get our chance - something we’ve struggled with all year.

I would imagine the team won’t change much from Sunday, although I expect Jordan Shipley will come in for the injured Tom Bayliss whilst, if fit, Jordan Willis will return in place of Tom Davies.

So the line-up will be: Burge; Sterling, Hyam, Willis, Mason; Kelly, Shipley; Thomas, Enobakhare, Hiwula, Bakayoko.

RR: Finally, can we have a score prediction please?

GB: I’m quietly confident we might snatch a sneaky 1-0! Bakayoko to grab the goal.

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