Coventry City owner Doug King has been speaking about his first 12 months in charge of the football club and his target for the Sky Blues in the second half of the Championship season
Doug King insists Coventry City’s target this season is making the Championship play-offs again, saying he’s “excited” after the club find themselves in a prime position to push for promotion in the last 20 games of the season.
The Sky Blues’ owner admitted, however, that the club “failed a little bit” in bedding the new players into their new environment amid a sluggish start to the campaign. But Mark Robins men are now perfectly poised to kick-on towards May after a successful festive period when they took 10 points from a possible 12 to lift them up to eighth in the league, just three points off sixth spot.
Speaking on talkSPORT, King was asked by host Jim White how he assesses his first 12 months at the club, to which he answered: “Pretty thrilling, to be fair. Obviously we went on an incredible run into the play-off final in May and it was as close as you can get to getting to where we want to get to. Obviously it didn’t quite materialise. That’s life. We had major rebuilding in the summer and over the last 10 games or so the boys have gelled together really well and we find ourselves in a good position heading into 2024.”
Asked if in his first year whether anything has surprised him or been unexpected, if there was anything he didn’t see coming, he said: “There has been a lot to get through and process through the turnover we had in the summer. We have brought in some real quality players, I believe, and bedding them in and making them comfortable in the environment, maybe we could have done a little better.
“That is the only thing I think we failed a little bit on, but the rest of it, I think we are moving forward quickly and in my view we’re not making too many hiccups on it. We’re doing work at the training ground which is moving along quite quickly, and obviously we have worked alongside Frasers Group at the stadium to improve that experience, so I think it’s fast, I’ll put it that way. But if you think just slowly amongst all the speed, I think that’s the right approach.”
Asked if it was a case of recognising the priorities in the first 12 months early on and then trying his level best to achieve them, and whether he’s done that, King continued: “Yes, I think that’s a good point. There are so many things you can get into but the critical thing for us was that we want first team success, and from that everything falls down beside it. And to get that is difficult.
“We see who has come down into our league – the parachute payments still skew it – and it’s really difficult to get out. But that’s our focus and we want to improve everything around trying to achieve that in terms of processes and structure. We recently appointed a senior performance director and we are looking to get our structure right and our set-up right to give us the best possibility to achieve that goal.”
As for the rest of the season, King was asked if the play-offs are the target now?
“Yes, and if you look back to November and the third international break we weren’t faring as well as we would have hoped,” he said. “I think we actually played well but just weren’t converting. We have been on a great run and we’re in a position here where we can kick-on, I think, and certainly a top six position in this league is only achievable if we continue to do what we’re doing. And we know what it takes because we did it last year, so yeah, I’m excited.”
He added: “It was a really great effort from everyone during a busy period over December and Christmas / New Year to get us in this position and that’s all we could have asked, I guess, at this point of the season.”
So is it possible to enjoy club ownership?
“Of course it is,” he said. “Why would you do it if it wasn’t possible to enjoy it? If you do the right things… The management team and Mark (Robins) get the players where we want them and we all try to achieve what we’re trying to achieve. Once I sit down at a game of football at three o’clock or whatever time we’re playing, it’s out of my hands completely.
“So it’s magnificent, I just watch it, hopefully a great game and look to see the development of the players and team we have. We have a young team and I continually see them improving, week in and week out, and that gives me pleasure. So yeah, I really enjoy it. I’m up for it and hoping that we can kick-on a little bit more.”