Yesterday afternoon’s 2-2 draw at Sheffield United saw Steven Pressley reach the one-hundred game milestone in charge of Coventry City Football Club.
With 75 minutes on the clock, it looked as if The Sky Blues would be leaving with all three points after two Dominic Samuel goals and having a man advantage with Jose Baxter receiving a straight red card for a challenge on Adam Barton early in the first half. But two goals in two minutes from former City captain Michael Doyle and then Jamie Murphy ensured the Sky Blues had to fight to leave with a point, let alone all three. But was it a tale of the same old story under Steven Pressley?
On March 8th 2013, Pressley was appointed as the successor to Mark Robins who had left to take the reigns at Championship side Huddersfield Town, leaving Scottish side Falkirk to take the job. Earlier this season, Pressley was once again linked with replacing Mark Robins, this time at Huddersfield where the latter had been sacked after just one game of the new season, but instead he signed a new four-year contract to stay with The Sky Blues. Just shy of two years at the helm, Pressley has had to contend with leaving The Ricoh Arena, spending a season ground-sharing with League Two side Northampton Town at Sixfields before returning to The Ricoh and drastically reducing the club’s wage budget.
The prolific form of both Leon Clarke and Callum Wilson, ensuring they were two of the countries top scorers, saw them depart for Wolves and Bournemouth respectively, albeit under completely different circumstances, has seen the goals dry up for the Sky Blues. Tellingly, despite Wilson’s move to Bournemouth for a reported £3m and a promise that the money would be invested in the playing squad, Pressley has had to rely on free transfers and loan signings; with Cody McDonald being the last player The Sky Blues paid a fee for in August 2011 under Andy Thorn.
Interestingly, Pressley has used 68 different players in just under two years at the club, with 37 of those being signed by Pressley as opposed to having already been at the club or coming through the academy.
Pressley is also the manager who has the indignity of being in charge for the first time Coventry City have been knocked out of the FA Cup by a non-league team since that game against Sutton United, when Worcester City came to The Ricoh Arena and walked away with a 1-2 victory in November.
In his first 50 games, Pressley recorded 20 wins, 14 draws and 16 losses producing a modest 40% win percentage. In his second lot of 50 games, there is a dramatic decline; 22 loses, 15 draws and only 13 victories, resulting in a win percentage of just 26%.
First 50 games: P:50 W:20 D:14 L:16 WP:40%
Second 50 games: P:50 W:12 D:16 L:22 WP:24%
Overall CCFC record: P:100 W:32 D:30 L:38 WP:32%