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PRESS WATCH: Sky Blues Stars Look Back On Title Success

City became League One champions, earning promotion to the Championship...

15 June 2020

This past weekend, BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire hosted an end of season review special, as they looked back at the Sky Blues promotion to the Championship as League One champions.

Regular matchday commentator and show host, Clive Eakin was joined by fellow presenters, Martin Winch and Stuart Linnell, as they spoke to some of the Sky Blues squad.

Defenders, Dom Hyam and Sam McCallum were joined alongside midfield duo, Jordan Shipley and Zain Westbrooke, as they took a look back at the 2019/20 campaign.

Speaking to local lad Shipley, the midfield spoke of his delight at gaining promotion to the Championship and why this journey to this stage has been that extra bit special.

“It’s been good, it’s been enjoyable.” He said.

“Finding out we got promoted was great, obviously we would have liked to have done it on the pitch, but to achieve promotion in anyway is fantastic and we’re all buzzing.

“At the start of the season we all had a buzz and knew what we wanted to achieve and obviously we picked up good results on the way and the Portsmouth game away stood out to me early on because it showed had character and personality in the team.”

This promotion was Jordan’s second, having been part of the League Two promotion campaign, but admitted winning League One just pips the play-off final.

“The first promotion, being at Wembley and winning in front of 50,000 fans was outstanding but to win a league title is a great achievement for myself, the club and my family and winning a title maybe just pips it.

“Being so close to Coventry and coming through the ranks and all my family members being on the journey with me to get to where we are now is a great feeling for all of us and long may it last.”

Shipley’s midfield partner, Zain Westbrooke enjoyed a breakthrough season for the Sky Blues and revealed the feat of being League One champions was still settling in.

“It’s not quite sunk in yet. We didn’t get to do it the way we wanted to do, on the pitch with all the fans, we all wanted to play on and for me It was my first promotion so I would’ve loved to have done it with all the fans and celebrate with them when the whistle goes.

“I knew it was going to be a big season, I joined just after the league two promotion and I was just finding my feet and I knew this year I had to make it happen and then with a lot of trust from the Gaffer and Adi I’ve been able to stamp my mark on the team and play a part in getting promotion.

“Every player has some doubts but you have to believe you’re here for a reason and I had a few injuries which set me back in my first season, and I was just wondering when the day was I would get my chance and it just happened to be the first game of the season against Southend was my chance and I took it with the goal.”

Along with Shipley, Dom Hyam remains from the starting eleven which beat Exeter in the League Two play-off final.

Hyam went on to enjoy another successful season last year, winning player of the season and now he has a League One title to add to his CV.

“Some players go their whole career without getting promoted so getting two in three years is brilliant and you couldn’t write it really.” Hyam said.

“We always believed, we’re an ambitious group and we always aimed for top and we’ve got it and we’re all so happy, it wasn’t just talk, we did it on the pitch, we all said we wanted to do something and with what was going on off the pitch we had a job to do and we went out there and did it.”

A big part of the Sky Blues success came from the heart of defence, where Hyam, Kyle McFadzean and Michael Rose formed a formidable partnership.

“We were all oozing confidence and we hadn’t lost a game since Shrewsbury away and every time a game finished, we wanted to get back out there again.

“When we switched to a back three, that was like a mini turning point in our season and we let the wing-back’s get forward and flourish and it worked well and we enjoyed it and I think it played a big part.

“Sam and Fanky probably spent the majority of the season in the opposition half and it was just me Fadz and Rosey there to sweep up and give the ball to the flair players to make things happen.”

One of those wing-back’s, Sam McCallum endured an eventful year, as he departed the Sky Blues in January, joining Premier League side Norwich City, before returning on loan to finish off the 2019/20 campaign with Mark Robins’ side.

Sam was full of gratitude for the work the management staff have done in his development as he praised an ‘amazing club’ in Coventry City.

“The management team and my family kept me grounded and I just kept my head down and focused on Coventry.

“I thank everyone at Coventry for all they’ve done, they’ve pushed me to get into the squad.

“It didn’t feel any different after I signed for Norwich, nothing had changed for me, everyone makes you feel welcome whether you’re here permanently or on loan and it’s just an amazing club here at Coventry really.

“I look back and I remember in the summer all I wanted was to just go on the pre-season tour and show the manager and the staff what I can do and it’s surreal the season I’ve had, I didn’t expect to be where I am now.”

 


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