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“There is no hiding place in this league, it’s hugely important to get off to a good start.” - Coventry City’s Sam Ricketts

5 August 2016

Ricketts wants his side to be attack-minded against the Robins in the club's League One opener...

Sky Blues skipper Sam Ricketts has emphasised the importance of a positive performance against Swindon Town tomorrow, as the curtain is raised on the 2016/17 League One season. 

The 34-year old has recovered in time to be available for tomorrow’s matchday squad, having nursed a knee injury throughout the pre-season period. 

With the defender having served a loan spell at the Robins during the 2014/15 season, Ricketts is well aware of the threat they carry and has stressed that the team have been working hard on systems to restrict Swindon’s play. 

Ricketts said: “All being well, I’ll be involved tomorrow. It’s something to look forward to. All the squad look forward to the first game of the season, the fixture list comes out and you see where you’re going to play. It will be a tough game, Swindon are tactically/technically one of the league’s better sides. We’ll have to concentrate because they’ll try and move us around.

“It’ll be a good game to watch, let’s hope we’re scoring more than them. There are no games which are easy, last year we had Wigan who you’d identify as tough yet we won the game. It gave everyone a lift, we’ll be looking to do the same tomorrow. But we’ll need to play well to do that.”

With the Sky Blues set to play four games within the next 11 days, Ricketts and teammates will be hopeful that additions can be made to the squad in the first-half of August. 

The skipper is confident that City Manager Tony Mowbray will be on the hunt for the right personnel to add to the squad, whilst also citing his faith in some of City’s younger players. 

“The team spirit is very good, the lads have worked exceptionally hard during pre-season on systems and how we’re going to play,” Ricketts added. “It bodes well that there are so many young players, they are learning all the time and the management team here do very well in educating them. They will develop in to the future of the club.

“When called upon during the season I’ve got every faith in them, but ultimately the gaffer would like to strengthen with some more experience. It is very hard to expect an 18/19-year old to fulfil a full league season. We’ll be looking to get some reinforcements to compliment the younger players. 

“We’re trying to be as secure as we can at the back. Cian and Darragh have really grasped what we’re trying to do and the side will benefit from that. We often talk through scenarios with the younger players, I try and help them and likewise. 

“We won’t be the only club in this position, there are a lot of clubs who will still be looking to sign and strengthen. The team will continue to evolve and it’s the manager’s job to try and recruit the right personnel. I’ve got faith in the manager, he’s got enough experience not to ‘panic buy’ and to know you are far better off waiting a week or two for the right players.” 

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