Date:Wednesday April 11 2012
Although Coventry City's fate in the Championship cannot be decided until after next Tuesday`s game against Millwall at the earliest, the Easter Monday defeat at Bristol City had the feel of a result that confirms League One football at the Ricoh Arena next season.
At Christmas it would have been seen as a great achievement to still be in the reckoning at this stage but the manner of the Sky Blues` climb out of the relegation zone, culminating in the first away win at Hull, raised hopes sky-high with two winnable looking holiday games to come.
It wasn't to be with City performing well in the draw against Peterborough before being well beaten by a better Bristol City side.
Plenty has already been written about that game but, despite its importance, one defeat is neither here nor there in the big scheme of things. In the 20 league games they have played since Christmas the Sky Blues have picked up 26 points, equivalent to just under 60 across a whole season.
That is more than competitive, but, with the first five months of the campaign having seen Andy Thorn's side fall so far behind there has been no slack for disappointing results like that at Ashton Gate.
Stories about the club's off the field problems have been noticeably absent during the recent climb up the table, but, as relegation again looks probable rather than possible, these have come back with a vengeance on Wednesday with claim and counter-claim about rent at the Ricoh.
The post-mortem will come in time but for now, four points adrift with four games to play we have to wait and see if Thorn can extract anything more out of the players at his disposal, starting at Burnley this weekend where the home side, still in with a play-off shout, have injury problems of their own.
'We need our pros fit and out there," said manager Eddie Howe after the win at Doncaster which was achieved despite a number of absentees.
'We`ll see if we can get any back for Saturday.'
For Thorn there is no option but to remain positive and keep the faith in his players that has been a noticeable feature of City`s season.
'I think we'll get one more bite of the cherry in the next few games,' he said.
Date:Wednesday April 11 2012
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