So many questions as Adi Viveash leaves huge hole at Coventry City

Coventry City fans have been left in a state of shock with the bombshell news that Mark Robins’ trusty right-hand man Adi Viveash has left the club.

The short announcement came completely out of the blue on Monday lunchtime, just minutes before the Sky Blues unveiled two new first team coaches with the appointments of former favourite George Boateng and the lesser known Wolves coach Rhys Carr. The only explanation is that, "following a post season review, it (the club) has decided to revamp its coaching structure."

Supporters are now left scratching their heads wondering why and what lies ahead for the club, given Viveash’s huge influence over the last seven years when he’s been an integral part of City’s success in gaining two promotions, a play-off final and progression to the semi-final of the FA Cup.

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Described by Robins as the ‘man who paints the pictures,’ the 54-year-old led the day-to-day training at Ryton, often with a rod of iron, but was greatly respected by the players and had an outstanding reputation for developing players as part of the club’s model to pluck young and hungry talent and turn them into assets for the club.

One of his biggest successes has to be Viktor Gyokeres, who joined the club on loan from Brighton, having been unable to get game time during a temporary spell at Swansea, and then signed for around £1m the following summer, going on to score 18 goals in his first full season and 22 in his next, earning him a £20m move to Sporting Lisbon and significant profit for the club to spend on strengthening in the transfer window.

His connection at Chelsea also helped with a number of loans and permanent signings, from the likes of Ian Maatsen to Kasey Palmer, Brad Collins and Jay Dasilva – the latter three of whom worked under him during their time as young development players at Stamford Bridge.

The big question currently unanswered is whether Viveash has opted to leave to pursue other opportunities. Certainly, as he told CoventryLive in our exclusive three-part interview with him earlier this year, he revealed: “I get asked so many times, ‘do you want to be a manager?’ The answer is no, I have never wanted to be a manager. I didn’t have ambitions to work in the senior game. I was very happy in development football and I never thought I would work at the top end, where I was at Chelsea, and I was very fortunate.

“I developed quickly and moved up quickly through the age groups. I was very happy and think I did a reasonable job, but when that changes and you have that bolt; someone makes a decision, and that’s their prerogative, these things happen and I ended up here. I have been a head coach for 15 years. That’s what I do.”

The other big question, has there been a fall out?

Mark Robins revealed last season that Adi could be a difficult character to work with at times, albeit he meant in a good way in terms of Viveash being his own man with his own ideas, and not a ‘yes’ man.

The fact that there have been no gushing tributes or quotes from either Robins or Doug King, but merely a short, three paragraph statement including the line: "Coventry City wishes Adi the best of luck for the future," is, perhaps, telling.

It was certainly a case of two big personalities bouncing off each other. Asked if that was the secret of their double-act success, Viveash told CoventryLive: “Whether we’re two strong characters and that’s why it works, I don’t know. I certainly think, yes, the gaffer has said that I challenge but creating a challenging environment is one of my big strengths; how you get the culture, how you set up the training and how you demand in each session. Yes, I have no bones about saying that’s me at my best and that’s why I worked at the level I did.

“Is that challenging? Yes. Do I challenge him every minute of every day? No. As I have said before, I have never wanted to be a manager and the things he deals with, no. But if he asks me a question about how a training session went and if he says he thought a certain player trained well - if I didn’t then I would tell him, so if that’s challenging...

“Sometimes we agree and sometimes we disagree, but he’s the manager, as he’s said himself, and it starts there and ends there. I respect the fact that he’s the manager and the job he’s done. I respect what he’s done to rebuild this club and good luck to him. But I certainly don’t think I am difficult to work with.”

And back in March when he spoke in-depth about his time and role at City, he made clear that the two shared the same ambitions, saying: “We are very different people with different outlooks on life. “We’re not moulded the same but we certainly want the same thing in terms of Coventry being back in the Premier League. We want it to be the best version of the club it can be, and we want to have good players and see the team playing good football.”

There was, however, perhaps a hint of things to come when he admitted how much of a "slog" the job can be, and that he didn’t know when the time would come for him to move on.

“I have always said I will know when it’s the right time not to be here,” he revealed just three months ago. “It won’t be anyone telling me. I will know myself. And that’s not me saying I want to do this or that. You shouldn’t need to be told.

“You have to have drive. Getting on the grass for nine months a year can be a slog. I’m fortunate to be working in something I’m passionate about. The game has been good to me and I have given a lot back, but the Championship takes its toll because it’s relentless.”

One thing's for certain, Adi Viveash's departure leaves a huge hole in Mark Robins' coaching team and an uncertain period of adjustment ahead.

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