Experienced midfielder Lee Carsley is back at Coventry City and aiming to help guide the npower Championship club back to the Premier League 10 seasons after being part of the Sky Blues team that was relegated from the top flight.
The 36-year-old former Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, Everton and Birmingham City player, who has spent the vast majority of his career in the Premier League and won 39 caps for the Republic of Ireland, returned to Coventry last summer.
The Sky Blues set-up is much-changed from the one Carsley left in February 2002, the most obvious difference being the club now playing at the state-of-the art Ricoh Arena rather than it's previous long-time home at Highfield Road.
That's not the only change, however, as Carsley told football-league.co.uk. "There's only one member of staff left from when I was here before," he noted, "but the club is just as friendly as it was back then and it's a great set-up at the Ricoh.
"I'm really enjoying being back and playing in a team that's started the season pretty well. We've lost the last couple of games and so we need to get back to winning ways, but we're still in the top six and I believe we can stay up there."
Carsley is leading Coventry's promotion bid from the front having been made captain by Manager Aidy Boothroyd. "As soon as I knew we could get him in I decided he would skipper the team," said Boothroyd.
"He's a natural captain," added the Manager, with whom Carsley has quickly formed a strong bond. "The gaffer has really impressed me," he said. "I may be 36 now but I'm still learning things from the gaffer and hopefully that can pay off on the pitch."
Results to date suggest that things are paying off on the pitch for the Sky Blues, who had won three of their four Championship games prior to suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time this season in the past week.
They have slipped from fourth in the table to sixth, but that has not dented Carsley's confidence. "We're a bit stop-start at the minute," he said, "but that's something we're working on, trying to get more quality and fluency into our play.
"We'll sort it, though. There's a lot more to come from this team, and although there's still a long, long way to go in the season I know we are good enough to maintain a challenge at the top end of the table."
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