Exclusive: Coventry’s Kelly convinced of “successful” season despite lack of playoffs entry

Despite Coventry’s playoff dreams ending this season, the midfielder retains a positive spirit.

Neil Goulding
Neil Goulding

Last Updated: 2024-04-29

Louis Hobbs

6 minutes read

Liam Kelly of Coventry City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leicester City and Coventry City

Coventry midfielder Liam Kelly is adamant the club have had a “successful” season despite seeing their playoff hopes ended with two games left. The ten-man Sky Blues clung on for a battling point away to relegation-threatened Rovers at Ewood Park.

But if Kelly’s sweet second-half strike had not struck a post, then the visitors could have ended a run of three straight league defeats with a welcome win.

“I don’t honestly know how that’s not gone in,” Kelly told SportsBoom.

“But it’s a clean sheet, the first one we’ve had in a while, so we take the point and move on.

“That’s football, isn’t it. When you’re down to ten men, against a team fighting for their lives, it was difficult.

quote icon

But it’s a clean sheet, regardless of how many shots they had. It just means we defended well and stopped the ball going into the back of our net.”

Laim Kelly

A successful season paired with an unfortunate Blackburn match

The Scot added: “Overall it’s been a successful season. We’ve sold two of the best players [Viktor Gyokeres and Gustavo Hamer] in the league and we’ve had a lot of new players coming through the door.

“We got off to a sticky start but, you know, to go close to the play-offs – and to the semi-final of the FA Cup in the way we did – it’s a success.

“It probably wasn’t our best day, especially going down to ten men.

“It was a tricky game, Blackburn had a lot to play for. They’re fighting for their lives to stay in the league.

“It would have been nice to have come away with a win, but we move on.”

A questionable referee decision

Rovers boss John Eustace was sent-off after a clash with Coventry’s Kasey Palmer just after the break, before defender Liam Kitching hauled down Sam Gallagher and was dismissed by referee Antony Backhouse.

Image Credits: Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images

Image Credits: Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images

“I don’t why it’s been given as a straight red card, I think Bobby Thomas has been rammed [in the build-up],” said Kelly.

quote icon

We’re really, really disappointed with that position. I think it’s the wrong one. I don’t think it’s a red card.

Liam Kelly

“But these things happen, over the course of a season you are going to down to ten men.

“The important thing is to dig in, which they did to come away with a point.

“We’ve had a lot of games to play in a short space of time and we’ve got a lot of injuries.

“We’ve got lads out there doing the best they can.”

For more exclusive interviews in the world of football, make sure to stay connected with 

Neil Goulding
Neil GouldingSenior Sports Reporter

Neil has been a journalist for longer than he'd care to remember, having written for national newspapers and respected publications for over 25 years. For the last three years he has worked freelance for BBC Sport, working on the production desk as a sub-editor and also as a writer, covering a whole range of sports.