Coventry City: Mark Robins keen to avoid off-field politics and get on with the football

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Five years on - Blue skies for Robins?

Mark Robins wants to keep out of the politics of being Coventry City manager and simply get on with the job of restoring success to the Sky Blues.

Robins was reappointed on Monday, and has inherited a City side lying bottom of League One, 13 points adrift of safety with just 11 games left.

He is well aware of all the off-field ructions that have further soured City's fortunes in his four years away.

"The political side of what's happening makes this place different," he said.

"It's different to any other club in the country. It is a unique set of challenges, but it can be done."

He told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: "This season has been tough to watch, and I understand the frustration totally. The fans are angry and frustrated with what they've seen and maybe the lack of action or investment.

"But this is a great, well-supported club that deserves better. We've got to get back to the stage where we the club can win back the fans' trust and implement a plan that makes sense for everybody.

"I just want to steer clear of the politics and get on with the football side of things. But the whole structure needs looking at in terms of the money I can have to rescue it.

"Key relationships need to be better and I need the tools to do the job. I need the best recruitment I possibly can.

Lovely to see you again

It was Valentines's Day 2013 when Robins ended his previous spell with Coventry and departed for Huddersfield Town.

Now, just over four years, or 1480 days, later, he admits he felt something stir in his heart when he was offered the chance to return.

"I got a call on Sunday evening and that feeling lit up again. It doesn't go away. The opportunity to come back was too great to resist," the 47-year-old said.

"You look at Coventry and what they nearly achieved last season. The key to that was winning and we were doing plenty of that when I was here before.

"I've looked at how difficult it's been and that was something which motivated me to try and turn it round. We need unity and trust. They're things that come over a period of time and we need to foster that."

Mark Robins
City were also bottom of League One when Mark Robins first became manager in September 2012

Five reasons to feel good about Robins' Sky Blues

  • Robins already knows the good, the bad and the ugly of being involved with Coventry City. Nothing can faze him on the politics front.
  • City fans responded well to him to last time he was in charge, when they played 33 games and Robins' side won over half of them - 17 wins and six draws.
  • Although most realistic Sky Blues supporters have pretty much given up hope this season, they do play six of their next eight games at home. A straw to clutch at?
  • City's forthcoming appearance in the EFL Trophy final can only prove an uplifting factor. And the fact that they have so sold nearly 27,000 Wembley tickets confirms that the club's long-term fan base remains.
  • The Sky Blues' proud heritage of top-flight football between 1967 and 2001 is again a positive benchmark for the 1987 FA Cup winners to aim at.

Analysis

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire's Clive Eakin

"Relegation to League Two is looking all but certain as Mark Robins takes over.

"Coventry will have appointed him on the basis of what he did first time around when they moved up the table before Huddersfield nipped in and offered him a job he couldn't resist.

"His first stint, albeit fairly brief, was successful. Just about the only manager of recent times to have left Coventry because someone else wanted him.

"But there is an irony to him taking over with City on their way to Wembley as he narrowly missed out on getting there in the same competition before, taking the Sky Blues to the semi-finals only to lose to eventual winners Crewe."

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