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“Ben Stevenson has got to be brave, but tonight he played with an assurance and composure about his game.” - Coventry City’s Tony Mowbray

10 August 2016

The City Manager hails Sky Blues debutant Ben Stevenson as the midfielder shines in EFL Cup win…

The Sky Blues were eventual winners over League Two side Portsmouth in the first round of the EFL Cup, with the game forced to an extra-time showdown at the Ricoh Arena.

Andy Rose bagged the decider, as another standout performer Ryan Haynes teed up the assist (having already netted the Sky Blues opener).

Aside from the cup progression, the night can be marked by the success of the club’s Academy graduates, with Stevenson making his full debut, Cian Harries making his home debut, and Haynes really coming to the fore with a goal and assist to his name.

The Manager said: “I thought Ben Stevenson was good, grew in to the game tonight and showed his quality. We might still need another one in there. He’s a good player, got talent and he’s here trying to stamp his own mark on our football club. 

“Ben has got to be brave, but tonight he played with an assurance and composure about his game. A lot of promise.

“Ryan scored, he created the third, but he needs to give a bit more personality and aggression to his game. I thought he was good tonight, there will be real competition for that position now with Lewis Page.”

The Sky Blues will now go in to the hat for tonight’s second round draw, which will commence at 10pm and fans can expect the reaction here as we find out the club’s next opponents. 

The City boss finished by assessing his team’s overall performance on the night: “I think we grew in to the game, it is a young side that needs to strike a balance between playing football and showing some passion, urgency and drive.

"You can’t win football matches by just playing nice football. Nobody gives you anything in football, you have to go and earn it. Ultimately we deserved it, we got stronger and stronger as the game progressed. Happy enough with it, perhaps could have killed it off earlier.

"Footballers make a difference and Jodi Jones makes a difference to our team. He's only a boy, we need other people who can also do a job. We’re still trying to recruit some more forward players, we need more quality. 

“We dug it out in the end and I was really pleased that we were physically stronger in the closing stages.”

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