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"The gaffer is passionate, he wants us to keep going, and he’s forcing us on." - Coventry City's Chris Stokes

18 March 2017

City fullback Chris Stokes pleased to be back competing after long injury spell on the sidelines...

The 26-year old has been forced to watch much of the 2016/17 season, but is now back to full fitness after nursing a reoccurring knee injury sustained 12 months ago. 

Stokes made only his third appearance of the season in the defeat to MK Dons, and completed 73 minutes before being replaced by Ryan Hayes.

He commented: "It is nice to get minutes, to be thrown in to first team games is tough. The gaffer was trying to protect me a bit by taking me off, I’m trying to avoid another injury.

"Training is a lot harder than it was before, but every session is starting to get easier. I feel fitter, and the more games I get the better. 

"You can do as much training as you like but it doesn’t replicate a game. I’m trying to keep up, hopefully I can complete 90 soon.

"I’ve watched a lot of games this season and it is always individual errors costing us, or little things going against us. That is why we are where we are."

Despite a bitterly disappointing season, Stokes will be urging his City teammates to continue battling for the thousands of fans who support the club each week, ahead of the trip to Wembley in two weeks time.

He added: "We don’t create enough chances, and don’t score enough goals. The gaffer is passionate, he wants us to keep going and he’s forcing us on.

"There has been a change since he has come in, everyone is fighting for their places. You can see that on the pitch, a bit of graft. Obviously it has been a hard season and the lads are suffering. 

"Fans coming to watch us means every game until the end is important. We need to win some games, and be proud of the shirt.

"It is bittersweet really, but we’ve got a lot of fans following us to Wembley and we need to make it a good occasion for them."