Tony Mowbray believes Coventry are capable of returning to Championship during his time at the club. The former Middlesborough manager was speaking to Sky Sports, after being appointed as manager on Tuesday:
"If you ask people in football, they’d say Coventry’s natural place in the football pyramid is somewhere between the Championship and the Premier League. As quickly as we can, we need to get to that goal.”
Mowbray has agreed a three-month contract to remain at the Ricoh Arena until the end of the season, and despite the murmurs of discontent, he insists it was a mutual decision.
“This deal gives me a chance to have a look at the club, see how it’s structured, and it gives them chance to have a look at me and see if I suit their plans. Best case scenario, of course, is we do well, we stay in this league or better, we feel we can move it on, improve ourselves in the summer, and strengthen the squad and be competitive in this league," he added.
The Sky Blues are currently hovering above the League 1 relegation zone, just one point above Leyton Orient in 22nd. Steven Pressley was sacked after their 2-2 with Sheffield United, with the board taking swift action to avoid dropping into the fourth tier. They have endured a particularly difficult period in their history, but are still considered a “sleeping giant” by the new boss.
“I see Coventry as a big football club - something of a sleeping giant. We just have to light the blue touch paper if we can," he said.
Mowbray, 59, has vast experience in management, having guided West Brom to the Premier League in 2006, before an uneventful spell as manager of Scottish Giants Celtic. He moved to Teeside in 2010, and despite a promising 2011/12 campaign, was dismissed at the start of 2013/14 season.
His playing days were just as decorated, featuring for both his ex teams Celtic and Middlesbrough in a career that spanned 18 years as a centre-back. In 2000, he landed his first coaching job at Ipswich, before crossing the border to manage Hibernian, for which he was awarded Scottish Football Writer’s association in 2004.
He will be looking to steer Coventry away from the bottom 4 when they take on Port Vale in his first match on Saturday. Both Reda Johnson and James Maddison are unavailable at due to injury.