The Sky Blue Army, along with football supporters up and down the country, were dealt a huge blow today with the news that a pilot scheme for the return of fans to stadiums is being put on hold amid growing fears of a second spike of COVID-19.
Coventry City star Kyle McFadzean can’t wait to see fans back at football matches, knowing the value of having supporters cheering them to victory.
But Friday night’s match winner believes it could actually play into their hands in the short-term on the pitch as they adjust to Championship life.
The facts are that as vocal as City’s incredible fans are in getting behind their team, home and away, Mark Robins’s men have some big grounds to visit this season.
And with those big stadiums and clubs comes huge home followings that can help turn games in their side’s favour.
But with no supporters from either side at games the defender feels it might just be a leveller, taking away the opposition’s 12th man.
“The Coventry fans are massive to us and the best fans I’ve played for, second to none,” he said, first and foremost.
“It will be massive to get them back, not just for us but for them as well because it’s not the same watching it at home.
“We are going to some nice big grounds and obviously we’d like them to be full but it’s not the case at the minute.
“But I think having no fans maybe benefits us clubs who have come up a bit, the smaller clubs.”
McFadzean says, if anything, it’s the last 15 minutes that the players will miss them the most, adding: “The last 15 minutes of games it does help home and away if your fans are raring you on to keep going.
“It pushes you to go a little bit more when you’re feeling tired.
“It’s a bit weird but hopefully they will be back soon.”
It had been hoped that Sky Blues fans and supporters of other clubs up and down the country could return to limited-capacity football stadiums from the start of next month, with grounds being 25 to 33% full.
However, tighter restrictions due to a spike in Covid-19 cases have resulted in those plans being pushed back – potentially by six months.
That would mean matches continuing to be played behind closed doors until March, at least, unless “significant progress” is made.