Scotsman Steven Pressley
had been in charge of
Coventry City since arriving
from Falkirk in March 2013
Coventry City have sacked manager Steven Pressley after
almost two years in charge of the Sky Blues.
Pressley's assistant Neil MacFarlane and professional
development coach Dave Hockaday, who arrived only three
weeks ago, have been put in temporary charge.
Coventry have slipped into the League One relegation zone,
having failed to win any of their last seven matches.
"It was very difficult from a personal and professional point of
view," said chief executive Steve Waggott.
"But results over recent weeks and months, and our
precarious position in the league table, means that a change
of direction at first team level is needed."
A century and out for Pressley
Coventry City won 32, drew 30 and lost 38 of Steven
Pressley's 100 games in charge of the Sky Blues. He
previously spent a season as a player at Highfield Road in
1994-95, having been signed for £630,000 by Phil Neal in
1994, scoring one goal in his 19 appearances - against
He began his playing career with Rangers, moved back
north of the border to Dundee United in 1995, then in 1998
to Hearts, where he also had a short spell as caretaker
manager. Joined Celtic in 2006 then had a spell in Denmark
before ending his playing days at Falkirk, where he was
assistant manager to Eddie May before being appointed
boss in February 2010.
The final game of 41-year-old Pressley's 100 in charge came
at Bramall Lane on Saturday when, despite playing against 10
men for most of the game, City allowed Sheffield United to
score twice in the final 11 minutes to earn a 2-2 draw.
The former Rangers, Dundee United, Hearts, Celtic and
Scotland centre-half left Falkirk to take over at City in March
2013 following the resignation of Sky Blues predecessor Mark
Robins to join Huddersfield.
Pressley was contractually tied to the Sky Blues until 2018,
having signed an initial three-and-a-half-year deal before
having that extended to a new four-year agreement in
The new contract was signed in a mood of euphoria that
followed City's return to the Ricoh Arena, but that mood has
changed in recent months - and home gates have fallen to
For the majority of his time in charge, Pressley was generally
viewed by fans as a popular, engagingly frank character, who
motivated his team well in adversity, but had to contend with
the distracting backdrop of the club's off-field woes.
Coventry City chief executive Steve Waggott
"While clubs are sometimes labelled as being 'trigger happy'
when it comes to letting managers go, that's not the way I
operate. But the performances and the results of the first
team are always under scrutiny. So, while you always want
to look long term, you have to take a view of the shorter
term too and, with no league win at home since October, a
slide into the bottom four in League One and what happened
in the FA Cup, we came to the very difficult decision that it
was time for a change. I know the question will be raised
about the 'backing' he has had but our budget (money
spent on players' wages) is up there in the top six for this
As well as twice being docked 10 points as a result of the
club's owners Sisu, now rebranded as Otium, going into
administration, while fighting against their landlords at the
Ricoh Arena, City even underwent an entire season in exile at
And they have been made to play second fiddle at their own
stadium following confirmation, then the harsh economic
reality, of their new landlords Wasps' well-marketed move to
the Ricoh Arena.
Since the news broke of rugby union's arrival at the stadium,
Coventry have won just four times in 24 League One games,
as well as suffering the embarrassment of losing at home to
non-league Worcester City in the FA Cup.
With 15 games of the season to go, City lie 21st, in danger of
being relegated to the fourth tier of English football for the
first time since 1959.
Three of their next four matches at home, starting with
Saturday's visit of second-placed MK Dons, but the state of
the Ricoh pitch since Coventry's new landlords came in does
not necessarily make that an advantage.