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View from the South Stand - Coventry City 26/11/11

Brighton and Hove Albion host struggling Coventry City on Saturday afternoon at the Amex Stadium.

We spoke to the Football League's Fan of the Year for 2011 Kev Monks from Coventry City Mad ahead of the Sky Blue's visit.

There seems to be a lot of discontent among Coventry fans towards your owners at the moment, with one blog accusing them of turning the club into "a laughing stock". What is the story there?
We had a Canadian entrepreneur on the board who came up with the bizarre idea that fans could text in with which players they wanted substituted! That for many City fans set off even more alarm bells about the sort of people running Coventry City and the relationship between the supporters and the owners is at an all-time low.

We've got through our fair share of managers in recent years, but since Gordon Strachan left you have had nine permanent appointments since 2001. Just what is behind such a turnover in gaffers?
To be honest, we have struggled to find the man who can get the best out of the players he has had available and get the team bringing in some consistent results. We've had a mix of managers who have not been to the liking of the Chairman, managers who looked good on paper but moved us no further on and managers who have struggled when the going got tough.

Speaking of former managers, Micky Adams was great for us in his first spell in charge and the less said about his return the better. What did Coventry fans think of him?
Fair to say that Micky Adams will look back on his time and remember his time at Brighton more fondly than that at Coventry. However, he's the only manager in the last ten years to have City at the end of the season anywhere near the play-offs and gave us something to remember in an other wise barren spell bar cup wins at Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers.

After being a regular feature in the top flight for so many years, you've now spent eleven seasons in the Championship. Where do you see Coventry's natural position on the footballing pyramid and do you think a return to the Premier League is likely?
I'm a believer in the league tables being truthful and you are where you are in the division because of your results. At the moment, with our financial problems and owners more happy to cut costs than bring in players, a return to the Premier League looks highly unlikely unless there is some massive investment on the horizon.

What difference, positive or negative, has moving to the Ricoh from Highfield Road made to the club?
Moving to a ground we do not own ten years later than when we needed a new ground, has proved not to be the best thing for the club. Whilst the Arena which will be an London 2012 venue and a Rugby World Cup venue might be good for the City of Coventry, as a home for the football club, playing at a venue where your income streams are greatly reduced and having to pay rent of around £1.2m a year has only added to the club debts.
 It's location is not condusive to many people in Coventry and the walk-up that the more centrally located Highfield Road enjoyed has disappeared as getting to a game, thanks to parking restrictions and the lack of a train station, has to be planned in advance. The extra costs in getting to a game plus the lack of atmosphere has had its effect on attendances.

What would be a successful season for Coventry in 2011-12?
Pure and simple, avoiding relegation.

Who in your current squad should Brighton fans be looking out for on Saturday?
Our three youngsters in Conor Thomas, Gael Bigirimana and Cyrus Christie, all are local lads and have come through the Academy system before proving they can do a decent job at Championship level.

Coventry were lucky enough to have four visits to Withdean. Are you looking forward to seeing our new stadium?
Very much so, This will be the third ground I have seen Brighton play Coventry on and I'm looking forward to seeing your new home. I was not a fan of the Withdean or any ground with an athletics track round it as you are too far away from the pitch and I'm glad that you are finally in a stadium which more suits the needs of the club and its supporters.

How much do you know about Brighton?
Apart from being the home of one of my favourite bands - Peter And The Test Tube Babies and involvement with some of your fan campaigns over the years, Brighton started off with the same momentum which took you back in to the Championship but have faded since. You have a decent manager in Gus Poyet and some good players and if you can consolidate a place in the Championship this season then there is no reason why you cannot push towards the play-offs next season.

You are 23rd in the form table and we're not fairing much better just two places higher. What do you think the outcome of Saturday's game will be?
I'll take a draw now and anything more than that will be a massive bonus

Many thanks to Kev for his insight into the forthcoming fixture. You can follow
Coventry City Mad on Twitter
and send them lots of lovely tweets about the game.


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