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Coventry City start life in League Two against Notts County at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday afternoon and, despite last season's relegation and the ongoing off-field issues at the club, supporters go into the campaign in better spirits than might be expected.
That is due to a combination of factors, Mark Robins' return to CV6 earlier in the year being the main one.
His second spell as manager started too late to avoid the inevitable drop but still gave him enough time to improve fortunes on the pitch and make his assessment of what was required in the summer transfer window.
And, in contrast to last summer, the window had barely opened when Robins made his move, Michael Doyle heading a list of nine new signings who all arrived prior to pre-season training, many of them holding solid credentials in the division they are set to battle it out in over the next nine months.
The presence of a proper squad at Ryton has, in turn, meant a proper schedule of friendlies for Robins to work on tactics and formation rather than desperately try and cobble together enough players to fill the substitute`s bench when the action begins for real.
City head into the season as the holders of the Checkatrade Trophy and, as (rightly) maligned as the competition was throughout last season, the win over Oxford United at Wembley did serve as a reminder of why we all continue to follow the Sky Blues despite the horror show of the last five years.
That the cup was won thanks largely to the efforts of a group of players who had come through the academy system was a huge bonus and the retention of most of those players is another positive factor to take into 2017/18.
Those last few seasons have taught us that something could easily come out of the blue to derail things but, given a level playing field, Robins should have his side challenging for the promotion and play-off places come May.
Play Up Sky Blues