Mark Robins and his Coventry City players have quite rightly earned high praise from the fans and neutral observers for their early season success.
The Sky Blues boss would be the first to insist it’s a collective effort after a busy summer in the transfer market that saw eight new additions improve the quality of his Championship squad, paving the way for an impressive opening eight league games.
His first signing, however, was to his backroom with the arrival of first team coach Dennis Lawrence.
The 47-year-old former Wrexham and Swansea City centre-half was appointed in June and given the remit of developing players, either as individuals or within a group or team setting.
He also has an input on the training pitch on a daily basis and with match preparation, supporting Robins and his assistant Adi Viveash, who generally takes the lead with the coaching.
Robins describes it as a “very rounded role” for Lawrence who has managed his country, Trinidad and Tobago - for whom he has 89 international caps as a player, and worked under Belgian boss Roberto Martinez at Wigan and Everton.
Three months into his appointment, CoventryLive asked Robins how Lawrence has settled in and what influence he has had on the group so far.
“Dennis is, first and foremost, a brilliant individual,” he said.
“He’s a top, top person; genuine, loyal and trustworthy. But also, he’s honest and has a really strong work ethic.
“He’s principled in his life and in his coaching he has his way of doing things which is allied to what we do.
“And he has a real understanding of the types of approaches and implementing them.”
He added: “He’s worked with Roberto Martinez for a long time and picked up things along the way, not only from Roberto, but also other people he has worked with.
“He’s got his own influences from his time as manager of Trinidad and Tobago and those experiences have shaped the type of coach he is, and he’s bright. He’s a really bright coach, and calm as well, which is sometimes important.
“He has a good manner, a good way with the players and really good understanding.
“He’s been part of the mentoring programme with the Welsh FA and delivers on the A Licence for players that are undertaking their qualifications, so he has a broad understanding and broad experiences in the game which are valuable to us.
“He studies things and he’s a top, top guy and someone who stood out in the recruitment process.”
Asked, after such a glowing appraisal, if he’s had the desired impact the manager wanted, Robins chuckled, saying: “He’s started, but I don’t want him to read this and get carried away."
Breaking into laughter, he added: “He needs to knuckle down and improve!”
SOURCE: Coventry Telegraph