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Steven Pressley & Coventry City’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Editorial | Article posted on February 24th, 2015

When the axe fell, it was at least swift. Steven Pressley’s two years in charge of Coventry City Football Club ended yesterday with his dismissal from a club that has dropped into the League One relegation places at just about the most difficult time of the season. February is the point of the season at which clubs that have spent the winter months labouring to pick up anything at all need to start winning matches if they are to pull themselves out of whatever mire into which they found themselves being dragged. Last weekend, however, whilst Colchester United, Leyton Orient, Crawley Town and even bottom of the table Yeovil Town managed to pick up crumbs that had fallen from the League One table, Pressley’s team was grabbing a point from the jaws of victory, throwing away what would have been an eyebrow raising three points at Bramall Lane in turning a two goal lead into a two-all draw against promotion chasing Sheffield United.
Whilst coming away from this match with a draw might have been a result that most League One managers would have been reasonably happy with, it was the nature of Coventry’s capitulation at the weekend that gives away the most obvious hints of the team’s recent decline. Playing against ten men, they led by two to nothing with just twelve minutes of the match left to play, but the home side scrambled their way to parity against a Coventry team whose confidence visibly drained from the players’ face after conceding what should really have been little more than a consolation goal for Sheffield United. Pressley’s one hundredth game in charge of the Sky Blues ended as so many others have this season, in disappointment. The end, which had arguably been nigh for much of this season, fell swiftly for the manager within forty-eight hours of the final whistle blowing on Saturday afternoon.
It’s impossible, however, to view Steven Pressley’s time in charge of Coventry City without considering the circumstances under which he had to work for the entirety of it. Whilst the decline of this club has been a slow and painful one, there can be little question that, upon his appointment in 2013, Pressley found himself in charge of a club at which most of the drama was taking place some considerable distance from the pitch. Pressley oversaw the management of the team during its disastrous year long sojourn in Northampton, a period during which the club’s continuing viability was called into question more than once, and then through its return to The Ricoh Arena, that misguided brave new world of a stadium that has turned out to serve mostly as a symbol of the club’s failure to

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