Coventry City sent clear transfer message as summer plans are put in place

Mark Robins has been sent a clear message as he plans out his summer Coventry City transfer strategy.

The Sky Blues had another thrilling campaign under Robins, taking the mighty Manchester United all the way in an epic FA Cup semi-final at Wembley - and some might claim only denied by the vagaries of VAR from reaching the final.

But they came up short in their bid to reach the Championship play-offs to emulate their 2022/23 efforts, and that will be the focus of Robins’ machinations over the next few weeks and months.

In the wake of that penalties defeat at Wembley and Coventry’s final-day upset by QPR, we polled Sky Blues fans on a wide range of issues from the season just gone - and the summer to come.

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Most of the 1,500 respondents were happy with the 2023/24 campaign, with 68 percent of respondents scoring the season as either a seven or an eight.

The unfortunate Tatsuhiro Sakamoto was rated the best of the summer signings on 31 percent of votes cast - and might have fared even better but for his season ending injury - with Milan van Ewijk close behind on 28 percent. Ellis Simms was ranked third (21 percent).

Ben Sheaf was the clear player of the season with the backing of 41 percent of respondents, and van Ewijk a distant second on 19.

The results became more interesting when the questions focused on preparations for next season and what Robins needs to make Coventry City a force again in 2024/25.

Asked what positions needed the most attention during the transfer window, goalkeeper was way out in front on 42 percent and mirrored City’s struggles this term when they conceded 59 goals, 13 more than in 2022-23. Next up was an attacking midfielder on 23 percent, possibly reflecting the need to replace the out of contract Callum O’Hare.

That result was mirrored when supporters were asked what had been their biggest area of concern with the team in 2023/24.

A hefty 58 percent cited tightening things up at the back, and this was reinforced when another 30 percent opted for “all of the above” when strengthening midfield and adding more goals were thrown into the equation.

Asked how many signings Robins and club owner Doug King would need to oversee this summer, the majority (54 percent) claimed three to five would do the job, but with another 44 percent saying six to eight new arrivals were needed.

A likely saga this summer is the future of star man Ben Sheaf, with a huge section of respondents (87 percent) keen to see him sign a new deal, and the balance keen to see the 26-year-old midfielder sold off and the cash re-invested in Robins’ squad.

On a similar theme was what Robins should do with the Coventry players entering the final year of their contracts at the CBS Arena. There were clear majorities in favour of hanging on to the likes of Kasey Palmer, Jake Bidwell, Fabio Tavares and Jamie Allen, while the club were urged to show the door to Matty Godden and Ben Wilson.

Asked for their highlight of a dramatic season, supporters opted for their Wembley epic against United and the quarter-final success of Wolves in the earlier round.

But asked why Coventry came up short in their play-off push, fans were disinclined to blame the distraction of the cup run, with most (31 per cent) citing a squad unable to cope with injuries. However, 55 percent opted for “both” the cup sojourn and a weakened squad of players.

Sky Blues’ end of season poll results in full

How do you rate Coventry City’s season on a scale of 1-10.

1 - 0%

2 - 0%

3 - 1%

4 - 2%

5 - 4%

6 - 9%

7 - 32%

8 - 36%

9 - 12%

10 - 4%

Why do you think the Sky Blues came up short in their push for the play-offs?

Distracted by the FA Cup - 10%

Too thin a squad to cope with injuries - 31%

Both of the above - 55%

Other - 4%

Who will prove to be City’s best signing from last summer in the long-term?

Ellis Simms - 21%

Haji Wright - 13%

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto - 31%

Milan van Ewijk - 28%

Bobby Thomas - 6%

Liam Kitching - 1%

Your verdict on players with a year left on their contracts

Matty Godden - Keep 17%; Move on 83%

Jamie Allen - Keep 59%; Move on 41%

Ben Wilson - Keep 36%; Move on 64%

Kasey Palmer - Keep 83%; Move on 17%

Jake Bidwell - Keep 89%; Move on 11%

Fabio Tavares - Keep 75%; Move on 25%

In what position do the Sky Blues most need to recruit first team starters this summer?

Goalkeeper - 42%

Right-back - 0%

Left-back - 2%

Centre-back - 14%

Defensive midfield - 12%

Attacking midfield - 23%

Right wing - 1%

Left wing - 2%

Striker - 4%

How many new signings does Mark Robins need to bring in this summer?

Just a couple will do - 2%

Three to five - 54%

Six to eight - 44%

What should the club do with Ben Sheaf – arguably their biggest saleable asset?

Get him signed up on a new contract - 87%

Cash in and use the money to invest in squad - 13%

What’s the biggest area of concern that needs fixing for next season?

Tightening things up at the back - 58%

Strengthening midfield - 11%

Adding more goals - 1%

All of the above - 30%

What was your personal highlight of the season?

Beating rivals Leicester City at the CBS Arena - 7%

Beating Blues at the CBS Arena - 0%

City’s incredible comeback win at Wolves in the FA Cup - 26%

City’s big day at Wembley and almost stunning Man United - 67%

Who is your player of the season?

Ben Sheaf 41%

Jake Bidwell 13%

Ellis Simms 13%

Haji Wright 8%

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto 6%

Milan van Ewijk 19%

It's not too late to take part. Cast your vote here...