Thu, May

First team coach Dennis Lawrence (right) played a key role in Mark Robins' Coventry City backroom, alongside assistant manager Adi Viveash

The loss of Dennis Lawrence from Mark Robins’ backroom team leaves big boots to fill. After nearly three years with Coventry City, the talented 49-year-old coach has taken up an exciting opportunity in the United States, working with up-and-coming new manager in Eric Ramsay, who recently left Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff at Manchester United to take charge of Minnesota United FC of the MLS.

As well as taking charge of a lot of the set-piece work in training at Ryton, the former Trinidad and Tobago manager and player worked closely with Adi Viveash to “paint the pictures,” as Robins once stated of his esteemed coaching duo, fully immersed and involved in team tactics and strategy. But as well as his tactical and technical nous, Lawrence provided a wealth of experience and was arguably a stabilising influence between Robins and Viveash who, as the Sky Blues manager revealed recently, don’t always see eye to eye on ideas, albeit in a healthy way.

Robins admits that he doesn’t want ‘yes’ men and Dennis was the same; strong enough to speak his mind, put his ideas across and challenge his colleagues when he didn’t agree with decisions. That said, he’s a very humble and mild mannered character who goes about his work in and quiet and diligent way – the perfect person to provide balance between two strong personalities.

He shuns the limelight, as we saw when he took charge of the first team back in March 2022 after Robins and Viveash were confined to their homes with Covid. Overseeing a memorable 4-1 victory over Sheffield United at the CBS Arena, the coach faced the press afterwards and quickly played down his part in the brilliant win.

“The majority of the preparation was done in the build up to the game, so the manager and Adi did the prep with myself. It was more or less down to me to just reinforce everything we wanted to do,” he said at the time.

“I spoke to the manager by phone and we all knew what the game plan was, so just about reinforcements and the manager letting me know he was there and supporting me, telling me to be brave and just enjoy the occasion.

“During the game he communicated with our match analyst by phone, who then passed on the messages to me, and the same thing happened with Adi, so there was a lot of information coming and that was very good for myself because it was just making sure we kept doing the good things we were doing.”

Lawrence was also very popular with the players, and a real asset when it came to man management – the good cop to Adi’s often stern, no-nonsense bad cop, if you like. He’ll be greatly missed, of that there is no doubt, but he goes with the club’s blessing and it would be nice to think that the fans will give him a fond farewell at Wolves on Saturday (12.15pm) when he will be involved for one last time.

SOURCE: Coventry Telegraph