Coleman hopes quartet will sign
Chris Coleman is optimistic that the four Coventry players offered extensions will agree new deals.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 26/03/08 5:03pm
Chris Coleman is optimistic that the four Coventry players offered contract extensions will agree to the revised terms on the table.
Stephen Hughes, Marcus Hall, Andy Marshall and Danny Ireland are all mulling over new one-year deals at the Ricoh Arena as the Sky Blues begin a much-needed rebuilding process.
The club are yet to secure their Championship status for next season, but their manager is optimistic that he can turn things around once he has been given time to construct his own squad.
"We have got a squad of more than 30 and I want to cut that down to 22 or 23 outfield players with two or three goalkeepers, and that will do us," Coleman told the Coventry Telegraph.
"If we want to compete at the other end of the table we need to add a bit of quality to what we have got.
"I have already spoken to the players who are being offered new contracts and told them what we want to do next season in terms of how we want to play, how we want to train and how things lie as a team and they all seem very happy with that and happy to stay.
"We will see when they get in front of the chairman if they can agree terms, but the important thing is they know we have offered them terms because we want them to stay and be part of next season."
Coleman has already begun preparations for the 2008/09 campaign by telling eight players that they are free to leave the club in the summer.
The former Fulham and Real Sociedad boss admits that telling some of his youngsters that they no longer had a future at the club was difficult, but has advised them not to get too downhearted and to drop down a level in an attempt to gain valuable first-team football.
"It is always difficult for a manager to make decisions on players," he said.
"It is easier when the players are more experienced, especially when they are 33 or 34 and probably not expecting another year.
"But it is when they are younger when it is hard and you just have to be as honest as you can.
"Sometimes I think players stay in reserve teams too long and they should be out playing down a level, or even two levels if they have to, playing as many first-team games as they can, as early as they can, because that helps them develop.
"Fifty reserve games is equivalent to five first-team games in my book, so, as I have said to all the young players I have let go, it has to be the making of you not the breaking of you.
"It is very difficult to accept when you are told there isn't going to be a contract for you, and you are going out into the world not knowing what's going to happen.
"But if you drop down a level or two you get better opportunities and they have to take them and turn it into a positive for themselves.
"It is never easy to make the decisions and tell the young boys but, unfortunately, that's part of the job."