BIG BEN TURNS TO COVENTRY IN FITNESS BID
BEN TURNER is ready to put his Premier League experience to good use after re-joining boyhood club Coventry City on loan from Cardiff – but says he sees his long-term future back in south Wales.
The 27-year-old centrehalf left the Sky Blues right at the end of the summer transfer window of 2011 in favour of a switch to Malky Mackay’s Cardiff, and went on to play a role in their solo season in the top flight.
However, a serious ankle injury in January limited the 6ft 4ins defender to just 13 first-team appearances in 16 months and Turner is hoping a temporary switch to his former club will help him gain some match fitness.
“In a selfish point of view I needed to get out and start playing because I’m out of contract and I can’t be just sitting around for a game at Cardiff,” he told The FLP.
“I want to prove that my ankle is fine and that I still have what it takes, and the best option for me was to go out on loan. I still knew some people at Coventry so I thought I’d always have the chance to go there and I was really happy to do so.
“I’ve played a lot more games at a higher level than the last time I was at the club, so hopefully I can help them get results on the pitch while they give me the opportunity to regain my fitness.”
A goal on his second debut with a bullet header from a corner coupled with a cleansheet in Tuesday night’s trip to Bradford, Turner has settled seamlessly into the League One title challengers’ side.
“I’ve only been here a week but you can see that there is a lot of potential in the side,” Turner said.
“Against Gillingham, no disrespect to them, we just steamrolled them. We were so dominant and on our game that we scored four inside the first-half.
“In the midweek game at Bradford it was very different as they hadn’t conceded a goal in something like seven games and we really cancelled each other out.
“If you can win your home games and draw your away games then it stands you in good stead.”
Apart from some of the background staff and the goalkeeping coach Steve Ogrizovic, it’s all change for the Sky Blues in terms of personnel since Turner was last there.
Since his departure just over four years ago, Coventry went into administration and were forced to temporarily ground-share at Northampton Town.
Turner believes that the Sky Blues have now weath- ered the worst of the storm and made positive changes to help bring the roar back to the Ricoh.
“They’ve changed a few things at the stadium like shutting one end of the ground to keep all the fans close together, as the stadium is Premier League standard and until you’re at that level you won’t be filling it every week.
“The main reason the atmosphere has improved however is simply the results and the quality of football are good; people are going to turn up and make noise if they’re coming to watch winning football.”
With his current deal expiring at the Welsh club in June, Turner admits that there isn’t likely to be a romantic return to the Ricoh on a permanent basis in January or in the summer.
“I don’t want my contract going down to the wire; the point of me going out on loan is to help win me a new contract at Cardiff,” he said.
“That’s what I want, but after that everything else is out of my hands.”
TURN-ED A CORNER: Coventry are helping Ben Turner, right, get back to his best
HEADS UP: Turner challenges Norwich’s Cameron Jerome