Striker Amadou Bakayoko believes he is improving all the time after scoring his third goal of the season in a comeback win against promotion hopefuls Fleetwood Town.
He said, “At other clubs I’ve been at, they haven’t had the coaches for me to develop the way I am now, so it’s taken me a bit more time. I’ll keep doing what I’m good at. I’m a good runner, and I’ll try to improve in any way I can.”
Bakayoko, who joined the City from fellow Midlands side Walsall, repaid manager Mark Robins faith in him with a well taken strike just shy of an hour in. He told us that he is always learning from Robins.
“Whatever he says, I take it in”, he said. He’s my manager and I just have to learn from it. I don’t take it to heart; I’m learning, as are a lot of players here. Others may take it differently, but for me, life goes on. You just have to move on.”
After going in a goal down at the break, the Sky Blues came back roaring in the second half with goals from Bakayoko and Zain Westbrooke after a change in system at half time.
“It was a tough game, but we expected it to be. We got the job done, which was needed. I thought the goal was offside myself. It was a tough one to take – I didn’t think they deserved a goal, but they got a lucky one.
“It took us a bit of time to get a hold of it and to work out how they were playing. Once we changed it, with Max (Biamou) and Kels (Liam Kelly), I think the game changed from there.”
Coventry moved to three at the back, with Sam McCallum and Fankaty Dabo moving up to play as wing backs. It proved a masterstroke from Robins and his side, who enjoyed total domination in the second period.
“Near the end of the first half, we were putting a bit of pressure on, but we livened ourselves up second half with the changes made. We needed to grind it out and get a result today.”
Two up front also seemed to suit the players, with Maxime Biamou enjoying a 45 minute cameo. Bakayoko was pleased with how effective it proved.
“We’ve done it at Forest Green. We have different types of strikers that can fill in. It’s worked for us today, we got the goal and were causing more problems. It’s something good to have, a different formation.”
“I thought I worked well with Max. We caused problems, we got balls in the box and got the goals at the end. We know what kind of player Max is; he can cause problems, can hold people up and win headers. I thought he did that really well today.”
Bakayoko smashed the ball home after a goalline clearance from a Sam McCallum effort. Talking about the goal, he said, “It was a quick reaction, which is something we’ve been practicing. I had to make sure I hit the target, and it went in.”
The Sky Blues won it with a penalty with 20 minutes remaining. Maxime Biamou was brought down in the box, and Zain Westbrooke stepped up to send the home fans into raptures. Despite already having a goal on the night, Bakayoko wasn’t for taking the penalty…
“I don’t think the gaffer will put me on it yet. I’ve got to do more practicing in training for that! We spoke about it in training, and gave it to Zain. I think Max wanted to take it, but someone had to put it in the back of the net because Jordy missed the one before and I missed one against Walsall.”
The one before came in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with MK Dons, and after Mark admitted in his post-match press conference that they may look at bringing in a striker in January. Bakayoko was not feeling the pressure on his place in the side.
“That’s just part of the game. I don’t think it matters who comes in; I’ve been through that last year, I’ve done it before, and it’s the same thing. I’ve just got to perform, and do my best in training, and get the manager to pick me. It will strengthen the team.
“He wants good competition, and for us to push each other. Regardless of what he does, we’re in a good place and I’ll keep working hard and doing the same thing.”
“Sometimes it varies on the types of teams that we play, or the way he wants to play. For me, I’ve been on the bench a few times but I’ll do whatever it takes to get a win.”
Next up, it’s a trip to league leaders Peterborough United, but their position is not worrying Amadou. “Everyone’s beatable”, he believes. “We got a draw last weekend, now we’ve got a win; we just need to keep our heads straight and go for it again and not look back.”
Asked on whether tonight would raise confidence, Baka was assured. “It definitely should do. Every player wants to play every game that’s coming up; we’ve got a tough game but we just need to go out there and do what we’ve been doing our way.”