BREAKING NEWS : Coventry City say goodbye to a legend as season and era comes to an end. Mark Robins’ revealed

Coventry City news from CoventryLive as Sky Blues reporter Andy Turner brings you a flavour of Mark Robins’ final pre-match press conference of the 2023/24 campaign. Coventry City round off what has been another eventful and certainly memorable season this weekend when they entertain mid-table Queens Park Rangers, hoping to send supporters home from the CBS Arena full of cheer and hope for an exciting summer, during which manager Mark Robins will be looking to further str

The Sky Blues have matured and evolved over the previous seven years since the 54-year-old’s return to the club, with the City manager remoulding four distinct squads to date: the first achieving promotion from League Two; the second driving out of League One to acquire a foothold in the Championship; the third reached the play-off final last season, and the fourth secured another Wembley appearance in the FA Cup last month. The one constant throughout that extraordinary trip and the only survivor of the playing group is captain Liam Kelly, whom fans will be able to honour during the customary lap of thanks following the final whistle on Saturday afternoon. Although it is not yet official, it appears like the 34-year-old midfielder will leave the Sky Blues this summer, capping off an amazing seven-year career.

Saying goodbye to a legend as Coventry City season and era comes to an end  - Andy Turner - CoventryLive

And, unsurprisingly, he will bid farewell on the club’s traditional Legends Day, with Robins confirming his place in club history during his pre-match press conference.

“Liam Kelly, along with Kyle McFadzean and a few others really, but those two especially have played a significant part in the journey,” he went on to say. “But Kels was one of the first acquisitions I made, along with Michael Doyle and Marc McNulty, and those three really helped us get to where we are now.

“Kels has clearly remained the course. Doyler was big, but he was becoming older at the time. He had previously been promoted with Portsmouth and returned here to win promotion. Marc McNulty’s goals helped us reach the play-off final and enter League One, but we lost his services that summer.

“But Kels has been a huge part of it and will remain, I have no doubt, a club legend for a long, long time and when we talk about legends day, I expect to see Kels back many times in the future.”

Kelly is not the only player fans may be seeing for the last time, with players both out of contract and still with a year left on their current deals facing uncertainty.

This summer’s futures. Goalkeeper Simon Moore and attacking midfielder Callum O’Hare are poised to depart as free agents.
It will be an especially poignant departure for O’Hare, who was embraced by the supporters after leaving Aston Villa. He first garnered popularity for wearing a Sky Blues wig and filming himself singing ‘Don’t you know, pump it up, City’s going up.’

The fans then created one of the best individual player anthems in recent years, alongside those for fellow favourites Gustavo Hamer and Viktor Gyokeres, with ‘We’ve got O’Hare… Callum O’Hare, I just don’t think you understand…’

Mark Robins makes five changes and formation switch to Coventry City team  to face Rotherham - CoventryLive

A terrible ACL injury ended his career in his prime, and the player’s personal anguish endeared him to the fans even more, as he battled back to full fitness and returned with an astounding ten goals.

His contract issue, however, has drained some fans’ enthusiasm, but the truth remains that he has been what Robins sees as a “incredible” player who has made a “immense” contribution to the club during the last four or five memorable years. And for that reason, he should be praised, and his decision to go as a free agent recognized, no matter how difficult it is to accept.

There will undoubtedly be a number of contracted players who may be seen for the last time on Saturday.

Jake Bidwell was joined by goalkeeper Ben Wilson, attacker Matty Godden, loan defender Luis Binks, and even the popular Mr Consistent. But, regardless of whether the fans are saying goodbye to players who have reached the end of their contracts or are about to leave a year early, they’ve all been lovely lads and top professionals for the club.

“Yes,” said Robins, “and I believe it can be expressed all the way through. Everyone has been wonderful, and I don’t believe anyone can turn around and say he wasn’t quite right; that they weren’t interested in this or that individual. Every one of them has been an exceptional human being. “I don’t know how many players have come through since I came back but there have been four teams and hopefully we can try and retain as many as we can to help achieve our objectives for the coming seasons.”


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