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'Gave them too much respect' - Robins

5 January 2013

City boss said second half performance against Spurs was more what we wanted

Coventry City boss Mark Robins recognised Tottenham Hotspurs' apparent class in their 3-0 FA Cup third round win over the Sky Blues but said he wished his side's second half performance was replicated in the first.

A Clint Dempsey brace either side of a strike from Gareth Bale in the first half gave Spurs in almost unassailable first half lead given their display in the opening 45 minutes.

City raised their game after the break and carved out a handful of chances against their Premier League opponents but could not get the goal the 5,000 travelling Sky Blue Army craved.

"We did much better in the second half because in the first half we gave them too much respect and you have to get tighter to your opposition than we did," Robins said.

"You can't do what we did in the first half to a team with top European players because they will punish you. We spoke at half time that wherever we play we need to be bright enough to know when to press as well as retreat and today we didn't do that in the first half.

"The second half we seemed to get something going and gave a decent account of ourselves but at the same time I can't be too critical because Tottenham were fantastic. When you play teams like these you need them to take a few liberties and not be quite on it but they were on it from minute one."

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