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Saturday, 5 May, 2001, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Can Coventry bounce back?
It had to end some time. Coventry's annual game of cat and mouse finally caught up with them after 34 years.
Can Strachan lead the Sky Blues back to the Premiership?
When Mustapha Hadji put the Sky Blues 2-0 up on Saturday against Aston Villa, everything was pointing to another last-day miracle.
But Villa had other ideas, even Juan Pablo Angel scored to scupper any plans Coventry had of extending their 34-year residency in the top flight.
But had Coventry outstayed their welcome? Was it inevitable that without Gary McAllister or Robbie Keane, the Highfield Road faithful were due for eviction?
Many have argued that Coventry haven't played badly this season but their profligacy in front of goal has cost them dear.
What now for the Sky Blues? Will Strachan stay to bring the good times back to Highfield Road?
Can he lead them back to where they could rightly claim to belong?
I grew up in Coventry and have always supported them. Absence makes the heart grow fonder - I've lived in the US for 10 years - and this is a very sad day for me. My heart goes out to all City fans around the world. If only Hartson could have signed sooner! Now Coventry have to get really focused on winning the league next year and bouncing back in to the Premier League. I want to believe City can do it, but only by significantly changing their back office approach to football do I think they can. John Sillett once said managing City was like trying to race in a grand prix driving a mini. We have to keep quality players for long enough to win.
Oliver Marks, California, USA
Neither of the Morrocans have even remotely impressed me this season, Hartson along with the other core players will be good enough to get them back if they all stay. Kirkland is outstanding and I wouldn't be surprised if he went to a big Premier League club. Coventry tried to buy another Robbie Keane in Craig Bellamy and the truth is that Bellamy is nowhere near as good as Keane, unlike the skilful Irishman he needs too many chances to score and he just can't create the goals out of nothing at key moments. Perhaps giving youngsters such as Boothroyd may help the City cause, and perhaps when they come back in to the top flight they won't rely on one player such as Keane or Bellamy to ease their season.
Both being Coventry fans, we are truly upset at seeing our team go down. We are meant to be a Premiership team, there is no doubt about that, and I'm sure we'll be back up at the end of next season, after winning the 1st Division by a huge goal margin.
Coventry's mediocrity has been propping up the league for far too long. I'm not sorry to see them go. New Premiership arrivals, Fulham and Blackburn will do a better job.
I think Strachan will bring Coventry back to the Premiership. We have plenty of young and talented players such as John Eustace, Chris Kirkland, Barry Quinn and Craig Bellamy. Being in the top flight for 34 years was like a milestone around our necks. We will come back after next season as champions of Division One. We will be much stronger and generally a better team because of going down.
Lara , England
As a hardened Sky Blue fan in exile in the US, all I can say is that I'm gutted. Insult to injury was that our arch rivals Villa finally sent us on our way. Philosophically though, we've lived on the edge for a while now and I suppose it had to happen eventually, but that doesn't make it any easier. Maybe it will do us good in the long run. My heart goes out to Sky Blue fans the world over.
Coventry will be back. Maybe not next season, but they will be back. Football comes in cycles, (almost) everyone goes down at some point and they come back up again at some point. Look at the mighty Man Utd, they went down in the seventies and look where they are now. When I was growing up Ipswich were a big team, they disappeared and are now back in 3rd place of the top division.
Coventry will be back. It may not happen straight away, but it will happen. Just ask Manchester City.
Make no doubt about it Coventry will be back up. With top quality strikers like John Hartson and Craig Bellamy they should win Division One easily. All they need to do is bring some good players into the side and definitely strengthen their defence and midfield.
Adam Balzano, Wales
As a City fan for longer than I care to remember, it is fair to say that yesterday's events have been a long time coming. Nevertheless, the actual reality of relegation after 34 years in the top flight will still take some time to sink in. An immediate return from Division One is not guaranteed as it is a notoriously tough competition to escape from, but if Coventry's board of directors continue to put their faith in Gordon Strachan they can be assured of 100% effort in the quest for promotion.
The Scot has taken a lot of unfair criticism from certain sections of the Sky Blue faithful this season. Now is the time for the whole club to unite and stand firm in the face of adversity. I ask critics of the manager to cast their minds back to some of the average bosses this club has had in recent years.
Coventry have been too noble and had their heads stuck in the sands. It was clear in the New Year that Strachan wasn't up to keeping them in the Premiership. Boro had the right answer and got Venables to get them out of trouble. Nice and passionate as he is, he isn't the right man to get them back. You need someone with a track record.
Words cannot fully express how I feel today. In the sentiment of Bill Shankly's famous quote I am in mourning. At 27 and although only getting interested in football just before City's historic Wembley win, I was not born when the mastery of Jimmy Hill lead City to the top. If Strachan is the man who can lead them back well only time can tell. If he's the same man that I supported at Pittodrie as a child then I'm sure he is. But for now, with the big games next season being those against not Man U or Villa but Birmingham and Wolves all I can say is PLAY UP SKY 'BLUES and let's go for a quick return and another 30 odd years of proving people wrong.
Kristian Thornhill, Canada
Coventry have been going for a long time in top flight football and it is a shame that they are down. They can't get back up if they go down, they just have not got the money.Then again I think the chairman should have been investing more in the squad and not the stadium.
Coventry will be back. Make no mistake. How many of the current squad will be there is anyone's guess. I can't blame Aloisi if he goes. Why Strachan has rarely given him a start, I don't know. Now we must hope Eustace, Quinn, Kirkland and Zuniga get us up.
I feel sorry for Coventry, they try hard and it is remarkable they have stayed in the top flight for the last 34 years. After a number of lucky escapes, they probably have to face the reality. I think we are going to miss Coventry's manager, Gordon Strachan, what a character he has been for a few seasons. The humour in Match of the Day is unmatchable anywhere else.
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