The Sky Blues were denied a path into the 2nd round of the EFL Cup as Mark Robins’ side went down 2-0 to Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.
Despite an even first-half, two goals after the break from full debutants Marcus Browne and Gavin Whyte gave Karl Robinson’s side a comfortable lead – and the City manager was full of praise for his opponents.
“They were better than us. They worked really hard”, Robins said, “They worked to stop us from playing and they have players who have a little bit better knowhow.”
However, City did produce some fine attacking moves throughout the game, and some tight offside calls disallowed goals from Max Biamou and Jordan Ponticelli that would have transformed the cup-tie. A late surge from the Sky Blues also brought some positive moments that the manager will be keen to build on in coming weeks.
“We put some decent moves together when we got a little bit of confidence. I think one or two are just suffering with a lack of confidence at the minute”, the manager admitted, “but it’s very early days. You don’t want to be going goals down and having to come back, but having said that, you’re right, the changes that were made made a difference tonight.”
Although Robins was determined not to bemoan the decisions, insisting his side looked like they lacked match sharpness. “I’ve got no complaints about the score-line. I think there’s disappointment, but we just looked off them. We looked, again, that we weren’t ready for that game and that’s something I don’t want to be repeating too often, so I think that they were sharper to it.”
City fielded a strong side at the Kassam, but the starting XI also featured five of the Sky Blues summer signings, and the manager has warned against judging his team too quickly. “There are a lot of new signings and a lot of young players and they’re just trying to find their feet at this level”, he said.
“You can see that - they’re trying. I’m not saying they’re not trying, they just need to be a little bit smarter and have an endeavour to score some goals from the chances we’re creating. We’ve got plenty of time to work on them."
The manager will be hoping his side can put these lessons into practice at the weekend, as his side prepare to face Plymouth Argyle at the Ricoh on Saturday.