BIG BEN TURNS TO COVEN­TRY IN FIT­NESS BID

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Lough

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.”

PIC­TURE: Will Kill­patrick

TURN-ED A COR­NER: Coven­try are help­ing Ben Turner, right, get back to his best

HEADS UP: Turner chal­lenges Nor­wich’s Cameron Jerome

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