Coventry on cloud nine after continuing flying start at home stadium

Coventry on cloud nine after continuing flying start with demolition job over Fulham… and even their players are surprised at Championship dreamland

  • ‘We didn’t expect to be in this position,’ said 19-year-old wing-back Ian Maatsen
  • The launchpad for their success has been six wins out of six at the Ricoh Arena 
  • Coventry are loving life back at their true home after two years at St Andrews
  • ‘When teams come here they’re shaking,’ added Chelsea loanee Maatsen 

Coventry’s unexpected high-flying start to the season has even surprised the players. 

‘We didn’t expect to be in this position,’ admitted 19-year-old Ian Maatsen, scorer of a classy goal as Coventry thrashed recently-relegated Fulham to move up to third place in the Championship.

The Dutch youth international wing-back has been an ever-present since arriving on loan from Chelsea in the summer and was delighted to score his first City goal.

Coventry’s high-flying start has been fuelled by a remarkable run of form at home

Viktor Gyokeres celebrates after scoring in the 4-1 win over Fulham, a sixth straight home win

‘We’ve worked hard on the training ground. I know what the gaffer wants from us. We’re a good team that like to play football and hopefully we can keep this going,’ said Maatsen. ‘The goal was an amazing feeling, my first goal in the Championship for Coventry.’

The launchpad for their success has been six wins out of six at home at the CBS Arena (formerly the Ricoh) after two seasons of being football nomads at Birmingham City.

‘It’s a fantastic stadium,’ said Maatsen. ‘When teams come here they’re shaking, the crowd provide big pressure behind us and they support us 90 minutes long whether we win or lose.’

Victory for Coventry leaves them three points off the top. Maatsen scored their third goal after two strikes in four second-half minutes had turned the game in their favour. Viktor Gyokeres grabbed an equaliser before Matty Godden’s contentious penalty put City ahead.

Players like Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen (above) are even surprised about Coventry’s start

Gyokeres scored again to take his tally to nine goals in just 11 games and yesterday learned he has been rewarded with a call-up to the Sweden national side to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Coventry manager Mark Robins revealed afterwards his message to the players to take into Saturday’s game on the back of a 5-0 thrashing at Luton in midweek. ‘I said “believe” — having the belief, the vision and ability to do what we want to do, which was move the ball really quickly.’

Fulham had taken the lead in the first half with an own goal but boss Marco Silva said: ‘I didn’t expect something like the second half. It’s only 45 minutes so it’s not the end of the world.’

Coventry are relishing being back at their home stadium after two years playing at Birmingham

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