sport

Pressley: Ricoh return is huge

Boss Steven Pressley insists Coventry's homecoming will be as big as their FA Cup triumph.

The Sky Blues will return to the Ricoh Arena on Friday to host Gillingham, after over a year of playing in Northampton.

The club ended a rent dispute with the stadium's owners, Arena Coventry Limited, last month to make the switch possible.

And Pressley believes it is one of the most monumental days in the club's history since they won the FA Cup in 1987.

"With the emotions, without doubt. It's maybe the most emotional day since winning FA Cup," he said with the club expecting over 25,000 fans.

"It's a night when we have responsibility to entice supporters back on a regular basis.

"It's a big club starved of success for too long. Around the ground there are lots of subliminal messages and references to the cup-winning team and a return to the Ricoh is a major step in our history.

"Everything surrounding the club at the moment typifies how important the club is to the city. We've had two or three thousand camping out to get tickets. It will be a fantastic atmosphere and we can show everyone the potential of this football club."

The players spent time at the stadium on Thursday afternoon to reacquaint themselves with it and Pressley admitted they cannot let the occasion affect them.

He said: "We must focus on our gameplan. We'll arrive on Friday night and feel the occasion. That's what big games are. It's a contrast to last year's arrival at Sixfields where there wasn't really an atmosphere.

"For the players Friday is a different occasion to show as a group we can handle it. I've no doubt we can."

Coventry finished 18th last season after being docked 10 points for exiting administration without a Company Voluntary Agreement .

They are 15th in the early Sky Bet League One table and are tipped to challenge for the play-offs now they have returned home.

But Pressley refused to talk up his side's promotion chances.

He added: "I never like to put a position on it, what I say is to fulfil our potential. My goal is that we apply ourselves and if we give that I'll be a happy man.

"We've been working in the football department to put the foundations in place. But unless we returned to the city all the work we were going to do at the training ground was never going to be enough to put this club in the right direction.

"We have a foundation now to build this club and take it back to where we want to be."