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Ghanaian forward Kwame Thomas hitting the ground running at Coventry City

Published on: 22 November 2017

Coventry City striker Kwame Thomas hit the ground running during his latest loan spell, scoring a vital goal in what has been described as a ‘brilliant’ performance by his temporary manager.

The 22-year-old Sky Blues player has been sent out to get games and match sharpness at National League Solihull Moors after falling down the pecking order at the Ricoh Arena.

And the young forward made a dazzling first impression on newly appointed Solihull boss Mark Yates, whose assistant is former Coventry No.2 Tim Flowers, who said: “Kwame Thomas was unplayable, he was outstanding today.

“I’m delighted we’ve got him. He gets a one-yard tap in and he totally deserved it, he was brilliant after a great strike from Akwasi Asante.”

Thomas had a disappointing loan spell at fellow Conference side Sutton United in September where he failed to make an impact, making just two starts and one substitute appearance before returning to City.

He then started his first senior appearance for the Sky Blues this season against West Bromwich Albion Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy after a handful of Under-23 games before being farmed out again.

Solihull manager Yates was delighted with his loan signing and response from his team after they claimed a 1-1 draw away at Maidstone United in his first game in charge at the club.

The Moors went behind inside the first minute but rallied to take a point away from the Gallagher Stadium thanks to a debut goal from Thomas.

Yates told the club's website: “Going 1-0 down after 50 seconds, I wasn’t best pleased with that. The lads have shown great character.

“We stuck in the game first-half, we weren’t at our best but I was pleased with the effort. I said to them at half-time that we can get something out of this if you believe in yourselves – and we did.

He then started his first senior appearance for the Sky Blues this season against West Bromwich Albion Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy after a handful of Under-23 games before being farmed out again.

“We caused them problems and we were going for the win at the end, I’m delighted with that.

Character

“They’re (Maidstone) a really strong team. I saw Maidstone play Cheltenham two weeks ago and they were the best team I’ve seen in League Two and the National League all season.

“It was a big ask to come here today and get something but I thought we showed great resilience, great character and the boys have shown me that they care and it matters.

“We want the club to be more professional in every way and that’s nothing to do with what’s gone on in the past, we just want to be as professional as we can and they’ve just given me a great professional performance.

“For a team that’s supposed to be lacking in confidence, they showed great resilience, togetherness, spirit and they played some good football at times.”

Thomas received some sound advice from Under-23s coach Jason Farndon recently, saying he needs to reinvent himself to get back in the first team picture and catch the eye of manager Mark Robins .

Signed by Tony Mowbray in the summer of 2016 from Derby County, the 22-year-old’s career has stuttered, some might say stagnated, at the Ricoh Arena.

He missed the first six months with injury and although he caught the eye with the occasional goal and show of physical presence, he has failed to established himself as a regular, slipping out of favour under Robins.

Thomas’s progress was further hampered when he had more injury issues over the summer before being sent out on loan to non-league Sutton United to get game time to get up to speed. However, that didn’t go too well either as the forward managed to get just two starts in three appearances during a disappointing month-long spell at Gander Green Lane.

So where has it all gone wrong?

"Kwame is a difficult one,” admitted Farndon, of the player who wasn’t even starting for the Under-23s a few weeks ago.

“He’s been around for years and you actually think he’s older than he is.

“There are highs and lows as a young footballer. I think he just has to grind it out. I think that’s the challenge for young footballers when things aren’t going so well.”

Thomas went on as a late substitute for Max Biamou in the 23s’ disappointing goalless draw with Millwall at the Ricoh last month, given just 12 minutes of football.

What's the answer to getting back on track and in the eye of the manager?

Farndon said: “His physicality has always been his main threat but now everyone is catching up with his physicality so he has got to reinvent himself.

“I don’t think any loan is a poor loan for a young player. We have got four Under-23s out at the minute and if they don’t play then it’s about learning how to get in the team and if they are playing it’s how they stay in.

“He struggled out on loan at Sutton to get game time but he’s an honest, good lad. I think he’s just got to work harder.”

Credit: Coventry Telegraph

 

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