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'I'm an immensely proud man' - Pressley

24 January 2014

Sky Blues boss heaps praise on the give-all performance of his players after FA Cup defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates

Coventry City boss Steven Pressley said he was 'immensely proud' of his team following their 4-0 FA Cup Fourth Round defeat to Premier League leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The Sky Blues had to overcome a first half double from Lukas Podolski and showed signs of doing so in the second half until tired legs saw Gunners subs Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla bag two late goals to wrap up the tie in front of a capacity crowd in North London.

Pressley said: "I'm exceptionally proud of my players tonight. We adopted a low press in the first half and we didn't manage at times to get in contact with Arsenal and if you don't do that against top players they will devastate you. But second half we went with a higher press and created a number of really good opportunities and when the game was still at 2-0 it got very interesting.

"I thought our performance brought a nervousness to the occasion in the second half. I asked the players to be brave in possession, aggressive in their passing and stick to our principles and we did that to great effect. We can take huge confidence from tonight's performance."

Asked if Arsenal's two late goals flattered the hosts in the end Pressley agreed, adding: ""We went toe to toe with them in the second half and matched them in many respects. We were still in the game at 2-0 and had a number of opportunities but what Arsenal do very well is keep the ball and tire you out and my players gave everything they had. Then in the dying minutes we were dead on our feet and with Arsenal's quality and when you are like that they punish you.

"We showed real composure though and I'm really proud of them. Leon had a couple of good chances as did Billy Daniels, I thought Cyrus was a real threat in the second half and we found Carl Baker between the lines and he created space and opportunities.

"To a man we couldn't give any more and if we can keep playing in that same manner we will become a very good team."

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