Manager Mark Robins believes Coventry are a club with a new lease of life despite the loss of key players in the summer after they impressively picked up their first win of the season against Middlesbrough.
Last season was the Sky Blues’ most successful in a number of years, following Doug King’s takeover of the club.
It ultimately ended with the heartbreak of defeat on penalties against Luton in the Championship play-off final at Wembley, a long-awaited return to the Premier League so near and yet so far.
They have since seen Viktor Gyokeres and Gustavo Hamer depart for Sporting Lisbon and Sheffield United respectively, but their display against the team they beat in the play-off semi-finals in May suggested a bright future.
Robins said: “It was an important game today for the players and for the supporters as well, not least because we’ve got a load of new players in.
“That feeling of winning at home is really important, the dressing rooms have changed – the owner has spent a load of money on the stadium, on the pitch, in the changing room area.
“It’s absolutely fantastic, it feels so much better, the training ground pitches have been done, so the whole club feels like there’s a breath of fresh air running through it and that’s brilliant.
“The two players that have left have obviously given us a headache but also an opportunity and that’s been backed by Doug as well.
“Thankfully we are in the throes of a recruitment drive and now we’ve lost Gus we’re looking at what we can do next to fill the void but also to give us the squad depth that we crave.”
Coventry were ahead after 11 minutes when Josh Eccles’ shot deflected into the path of Matty Godden, who instinctively finished into the bottom corner.
Middlesbrough were poor in the first half, but enjoyed a good spell after the break, with Isaiah Jones shooting into the side netting before Sammy Silvera somehow blazed Morgan Rogers’ cross over from close range.
It was one of Robins’ new recruits who doubled the Sky Blues’ lead in the 70th minute as USA international Haji Wright smashed in his first goal for the club following Kasey Palmer’s corner.
An excellent afternoon for the hosts was rounded off in stoppage time when Boro defender Darragh Lenihan deflected Godden’s cross into his own net.
Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick, who looks set to lose 29-goal top scorer from last season Chuba Akpom in the near future, said: “It obviously wasn’t a 3-0 game.
“We’ve done a number of good things during the game, they’re obviously a good team, it was a tight game for spells, and they had a little bit extra in the end.
“Obviously, goals change games and we weren’t quite able to take the chances we created.
“We’ve got to be better but at the same point the first one was a deflection that fell to him (Godden), the third goal was a deflection and the corner’s the corner we need to defend better.
“There’s a balance between judging a game and knowing where we’re at and being disappointed and knowing where we need to improve, but at the same point the bigger picture is it’s a long
“We’ve got long enough to put things right.”