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League One

Pressley happy with winning return

5 September 2014

Boss Steven Pressley believes Coventry's Ricoh return is a victory for fan power and insisted it could mark a change in the way supporters are viewed.

Frank Nouble's first-half winner made it a dream comeback for the Sky Blues against Gillingham, ending over a year of playing in Northampton.

The club had agreed a return with the ground's owner Arena Coventry Limited after a rent dispute, and 27,603 watched their 1-0 Sky Bet League One win on Friday.

It was a stark contrast to the 2,000 who regularly made the trip to Sixfields and Pressley believes their comeback showed fans can make a difference after Coventry supporters constantly lobbied for a return home.

"At times the game has lost touch with the supporters," he said.

"Our supporters have shown that, ultimately, football is about the people and they should be proud of themselves.

"What it's done is make everyone recognise a club can't survive without its supporters.

"I said all along I have huge sympathy for the supporters because clubs are built around them. The return in many respects shows their value to a club. They voted with their feet and forced the club to where it truly belonged.

"I hope it's not a false dawn. We have so much work ahead of us. I think we have given people hope and that's vital."

Nouble's debut goal after just 10 minutes eased Coventry's nerves while John Fleck was denied a spectacular clincher when Stephen Bywater kept out his 40-yard lob in the second half.

"It was an outstanding night and I was exceptionally proud to be the manager of the club, we showed our true potential," added Pressley.

"I'm pleased with the result because I have seen many of these scripts before, when we turn up in numbers and everyone expects us to win and we end up with egg on our face."

Kortney Hause and Cody McDonald went close to snatching a point and spoiling Coventry's party but Gillingham boss Peter Taylor was pleased with their performance, despite the result.

"Coventry are an excellent footballing team. We didn't do too well at the end of the first half but in the second half we showed good character and quality," he said.

"Coventry were absolutely flying with their passing moves at times, they were sucking us in and at times you did fear the worst.

"We lost the game but I am delighted with the performance.

"If the atmosphere is the same in their next game teams could melt a little bit but we didn't.

"You hope the supporters come back because they are so pleased at play at the Ricoh. It will be disappointing if there are only a few thousand here next time."

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