Ground Guide: The Ricoh Arena, Coventry
A couple of years ago I posted that we always score first at the Ricoh, trouble is we never win at the Ricoh. Nothing changed last time, Bananaman scored a screamer, Brett had already been sent off and we still ended up not holding on to a lead.
Our visit to the Midlands comes hot on the heels of last gasp heartache at Pompey, there`s a little gap appearing 2 teams up from us and something`s required to ensure that we don`t get left behind, even at this early stage of the season.
How to get there
55 M6 South, all the way down to J3 then as simple as follow the signs to the stadium along the A444.
For the non believers - leave at J3, sign posted Coventry North, then at the roundabout take the 4th exit on to Phoenix way - the A444. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit on to Rowleys Green Lane. At the next roundabout take the 2nd exit on to Judds Lane - you're there.
Sat navvers - CV6 6GE.
Parking - I've opted for the £10 place literally 20yds from the away end, handy but expensive, and a queue and a half at the end of the match to get away from the ground.
For the Virgin lovers amongst us the main city train station is over 6 miles away. A joey at a cost between a few of you would beat the public transport on offer, but coming back it's impossible to get back up north before Wednesday morning.
pen almost 7 years at a cost of £113million there's no denying the Ricoh looks impressive.
After 106 years at Highfield Rd, the arena is built on the site of the old Foleshill gas works and the huge glassed reception area must make a pleasant sight for visiting teams.
Inside the running track around the pitch conjures up memories of the Shay over 25 years ago. Legroom was good but from the far end you are so distant that in recent seasons Pool goals at that end have almost passed us by. Capacity is 32609 and there's room for up to 3000 away fans and I expect around the 850 mark to travel.
he hotel offers fantastic value for money & last time there I thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
here to drink
hen enquiring previously we were told 'there's a pub over there, but I wouldn't recommend it for away fans', hence with the old man with us we stuck to the beer inside the ground. When you reach the junction of the Ricoh off the 6 take a left towards Nuneaton, after the roundabout turn back on yourself and the pub of choice from last season is there on your left (name escapes me). For those looking for something a bit closer to the ground, the main gist suggests Longford - an alleged 10 minute walk to the ground. The Blackhorse has been the pub for away fans, there is the Longford Engine and the bar in the Novotel walking towards the ground. The Rose and Crown on Walsgrave Road and Phat Larrys, the hand and Heart are both about 4 miles away. There is ale on sale inside the ground for away fans.
lod & Stewards
've done the Ricoh three times now and the first 2 times the stewarding has been fine, however last time round undercover plod decided to us the game to identify and arrest Pool 'faces`. It led to some unsavory scenes inside the ground, not aided by the stewards wading in too.
Fear Factor Rating - 2
2 away games in 3 days. It`s OK to play nice football but it`s points that make prizes. Tuesday seems a place where we are long overdue getting a win and restarting our little stall after a decent start.
Onwards + Upwards