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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins previews the away game at Carlisle

Sky Blues make the long trip to Carlisle on Saturday...

28 December 2017

Manager Mark Robins has been looking ahead to Coventry City’s away game against Carlisle on Saturday.

The Sky Blues will be travelling up north on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s 3pm kick-off at Brunton Park.

The Christmas and New Year period sees a busy period of fixtures, and after defeat at Port Vale on Boxing Day, an opportunity to put things right for Mark Robins’ side away to Carlisle.

“Carlisle have numerous threats, and a decent squad with depth” said Robins.

“Since we last played them they have brought in Clint Hill, who is an experienced centre half who has been very good throughout his career.”

“They’ve got some good and dangerous players – they had a good result on Saturday against Accrington Stanley. They are playing a 3-5-2 or a 3-1-4-2 and been decent. Away from home they have picked up quite a few points, and at home they had a really good result Boxing Day so we know we have a tough game on our hands.”

After the long trip to Carlisle, the Sky Blues face Chesterfield on New Year’s Day, meaning two games in three days.

Robins commented, “The turnaround will be a tough one, because no sooner have we got that we are back late from Carlisle, then in on Sunday and prepare for Chesterfield on Monday. It’s a real, busy, hectic weekend for us.”

Reflecting on Tuesday’s 1-0 loss at Vale Park, Robins rued the chance to push into automatic promotion places.

“We knew it would be a tough game, but we’ve had opportunities to kill them off. We’ve had three really good opportunities down the side of them, got into the area and not picked the right pass. That’s the frustration. We can create those opportunities almost at will at times, but we get to the final bit and pick the wrong option or it’s a poor pass – those are the frustrations.”

The Sky Blues had moved up to 4th in the table ahead of Boxing Day, but have slipped back to 7th.

“We’ve had the chance to kick on after the Wycombe win and cement a top three place, and we’ve turned that opportunity down – that’s the disappointment. Even a draw keeps you right in the thick of it, and we keep turning it down.”

Robins added, “We need to change it round, it’s a mindset. Teams beat each other in this division, but we have to take chances in games. We need to be more ruthless.”

Commenting on the striker situation, Robins praised the form of Marc McNulty and hinted at opportunities for some of the other Sky Blues forwards.

“We have been scoring goals. McNulty is in really good goalscoring form, still looking for more goals from the other strikers. Max and Marc have been in possession of the shirt, we’ve still got Ponticelli and Nazon, who will hopefully be chomping at the bit to play, and these lads will start games over these next two games.”

With thoughts looking ahead to the January Transfer Window, which opens on 2nd January, Robins has said he is looking to add to the Sky Blues attacking abilities.

“We are looking to bring in one or two players who will make a difference in that final third,” said Robins.

“The players we are bringing in have got those abilities, and hopefully they can hit the ground running and stay injury free. There is Josh Barrett and another, but we can’t say who at the moment though it is imminent, and we’ll see what happens after that.”

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