The Sky Blues at 40
Saturday`s superbly timed first away win of the season for Coventry City at the KC Stadium lifted them out of the relegation zone with only six matches left to play in the Championship season.
A crucial Easter double-header awaits but with 40 games gone in the campaign it`s approaching that time of year when votes are cast for the best player in a season that has certainly had its downs but also a surprising number of 'up` moments.
The Sky Blues have two ever-presents in their ranks with both Joe Murphy and Richard Keogh having started every game. Keogh has established himself as the favourite of the City fans with his committed displays at the back, developing a partnership with Martin Cranie that has been the bedrock of the recent upturn in form. Fans, players and manager have felt closer this season than at any other time in the past decade and Keogh has also played a key role in that.
Having a settled central defensive duo in front of him must also have helped Murphy, seen by some as a weak link earlier in the season with the big boots of Keiren Westwood to fill but looking increasingly sound as the campaign rolls on.
Four more players have made more than 30 appearances to date (including when coming on from the bench), Sammy Clingan, Cranie, Gary McSheffrey and Cyrus Christie.
Cranie plays the cool customer to go alongside Keogh`s all-action style but is no less effective for it and appeared to stroll through the Hull game while keeping the dangerous duo of McLean and Fryatt at bay.
McSheffrey has become the key man that City have needed him to be, revelling perhaps in the extra space afforded to him as defenders concentrate on the speedy and direct Alex Nimely. The local hero may no longer have the 'yard of pace` so often talked about but his footballing brain remains sharp and there is nobody better at winning free-kicks in dangerous positions or making the well-timed run to be on the end of a knock-down or loose ball.
Honourable mentions must also go to Clive Platt (28 appearances) for his tireless work up front and his ability to bring others into the game, loan duo Oliver Norwood (increasingly influential as the weeks go by) and Nimely and also the departed Lukas Jutkiewicz, whose 9 goals from 25 appearances still means he is the club`s leading goalscorer.
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