The Watford game is one of the top topics of conversation and Ben is optimistic when asked to sum up Saturday’s game. “After the game, the lads didn’t know whether to be delighted with the point or devastated with the way we played. I think the first half we were below par, it was a bad start that ended up being a bad half. But I think in the last twenty minutes we had them counting and in the last five minutes we were the only team that were going to win the game. We’re happy because four points out of six is a good start.”
Fighting spirit is something that Aidy has worked hard to instill in his squad and its impact is clear to see in the defender’s attitude. He reveals how his place in the team is not safe, regardless of whether he played a blinder the weekend before, and he also describes the environment that Boothroyd is beginning to cultivate at the club: “It’s a winning environment. He’s trying to create an environment in which you need to perform. That’s the pressures of football and hopefully it will work for us.”
The Midlands derby against the Rams will test Turner’s credentials against Championship old stock in the form of Rob Hulse, should the striker be cleared fit to play. The defender, however, is confident that Nathan and himself have the kind of game which can combat such a player: “You know what you’re going to get with Rob Hulse. He’s a strong player who performs regularly to a good level. It will be a challenge because he is older and you know he’s been around the block a few times.” The Sky Blues have also spent a lot of time this week focusing on Derby’s intriguing formation: “It’s a strange one, they play with two centre midfielders, three attacking midfielders and a target man in front of the back four,” and Ben believes there are a number of weaknesses which he and his team can exploit.
With the attention that the 21-year-old’s role in the first team is attracting, it is easy to overlook the fact that he has already notched up almost 70 senior appearances since his debut in the 2005/06 season, a tally which includes loan spells at Oldham Athletic and Peterborough. Realising, however, that this campaign has presented him with his best opportunity so far, Turner is relishing his football and, perhaps falling under Aidy Boothroyd’s ambitious spell, he is already talking about the clubs chances of promotion. Admitting that he would not bet his mortgage on who will be promoted or relegated from the division, his attitude towards Coventry’s chances this season reflects that of a number of his teammates – with such a wide open league, there is no reason why the Sky Blues cannot be one of the candidates: “You just need to be spot on with your tactics, and the lads need to be performing every week for the team to be in the race.”
But for now his focus remains on getting as many games under his belt as possible. Recognising how hungry he is: “I get up on Saturday and I just want the game to come,” Boothroyd has been more than happy to give the young defender his opportunity but it is a chance that can be easily snatched away if his performances are not up to scratch. With his ambition, focus and strong team spirit, however, you know he will be more than ready for the fight, whether it is against Derby, for promotion, or with his team-mates for that coveted starting berth.