Following the Sky Blues’ fifth pre-season run-out at Liberty Way yesterday, manager Mark Robins said that it was a good opportunity for the club’s young talents to play against a challenging Derby County side.
A Bradley Johnson header midway through the first half meant that City fell to a 1-0 defeat versus Frank Lampard’s Rams.
Robins is still without the injured Abu Ogogo, Jordan Willis and Liam Kelly, while Tom Bayliss and Dujon Sterling are on international duty with England Under-19s and are yet to feature in the pre-season schedule.
He said: “I’m pleased that we worked hard, it was a good workout for the young lads who have not had opportunities yet.
“Derby played two teams, switching it at half-time which made it difficult for us, and we’ve still got six, seven, eight players out.
Robins was left a little frustrated with too much respect given by his team to the visitors and commented:
“We did okay but there’s more in us and more to come.
“We still didn’t create enough and there’s still plenty of work to do but it’s where we are and where I expect us to be given the personnel we have and given the amount of time we’ve had in pre-season.”
“We stood off them a little too much and gave them too much respect and then possibly took an easy option.
“There were some decent points; a decent passage of play in the first half where we knocked the ball around and got into a dangerous position, but the cross that came in didn’t have great quality on it.”
Two players particularly caught the eye, one being goalkeeper Liam O’Brien who denied Tom Lawrence from the penalty spot.
“You expect them [Derby] to have plenty of the ball and opportunities, but he made some really good saves and I thought his performance was really good.
“He looked calm and was vocal as well which is what we’re asking the goalkeepers to be, and when he was called upon his reflexes were outstanding.
“He was put under a fair bit of pressure and saved a penalty, so those were the things in the game we could have done a bit better with.”
The Sky Blues boss also notified Michael Doyle’s diligent performance and said:
“I thought Michael Doyle was outstanding.
“He just gets around the pitch and Zain Westbrooke alongside him did okay, but he’s still learning.”