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"It will be like a second debut. We need to win to make sure fans keep coming back." - Coventry City captain Reda Johnson

4 September 2014

The City captain also revealed he has been speaking to his former team-mate Stephen Bywater who will play for Gillingham tomorrow night...

Coventry City captain can't contain his excitement ahead of tomorrow’s return to the Ricoh Arena against Gillingham.  

Sky Blues skipper Reda Johnson believes that City can push up the league now they are back at the Ricoh Arena.  

The defender has played every league game this season, and his displays earned him a nomination for August’s Sky Bet League One Player of the Month.  

After scoring twice on his debut against Bradford, Johnson has been at the heart of a defence that has kept three clean sheets already this season.  

However, he is keen not to rest on his laurels and highlights how important tomorrow's clash against the Gills in front of the Sky cameras is.  

"We are all very excited about tomorrow," he said, "but we also need to focus on the result.  

"Three points is the most important thing at the end of the day but we know that the fans will be excited, as are we.   

"We need to start well from the first minute. Once the whistle goes we need to block everything out and focus. But the buzz the fans will make will help us do this."  

City's first game at the Ricoh Arena in 16 months is a big occasion for the players too, and Johnson is eager to start. 

But, he is aware that every player in the squad will want to start, and what that would mean to each of the starting XI tomorrow night.  

Johnson continued: "There’s lots of competition. We have a lot of defenders and a lot of strikers. It's good, everyone works hard because we all want to be out there on the pitch, playing every game.  

"Playing tomorrow, it would be like a second debut. It can be like a new start for the team, we've done well the first few games in the league, but hopefully we can start a winning run and push on."  

The Benin international is aware of the fact that there will be many new faces at the Ricoh Arena tomorrow, and says that a good result will hopefully get fans to attend more matches in the future.  

He added: "We have had some good performances away from home so far. The fans know that we have a good squad, and hopefully they will keep coming if we start winning at home too.  

"We've had a difficult start, one of the most difficult (in the league). So we need to keep going, and keep that momentum and try to get better and better." 

The former Sheffield Wednesday man has been in touch with Gillingham goalkeeper Stephen Bywater during the week, a former Owls team-mate.  

Johnson concluded: "I've been texting Steven, I played with him at Sheffield. Last season, he was at Millwall and I scored against him. I told him that on Friday I'm going to do it again!" 


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