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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins reflects on Leasing.com Trophy opener

Mark Robins looks back on tonights penalty shootout victory...

3 September 2019

Mark Robins believes it was good for his young side’s development, after the Sky Blues defeated Walsall on penalties in the Leasing.com Trophy.

In a much-changed starting lineup, City’s young players held their own against an experienced Walsall side, before winning on penalties.

Robins said: “That’s the nature of the game, they’re young players, they’re learning the trade, some things were good and some things they found difficult, but that’s good for their development.”

He also praised substitute Will Bapaga for the spark he provided the Sky Blues in their penalty shootout success against Walsall.

The youngster came off the bench in the second half to great effect and scored a well-taken penalty in the shootout.

“I thought Will Bapaga’s cameo appearance was good, I thought that gave us a spark, the only spark that we had really, that was going to make a difference.

“Callum O’Hare did as well, but he took a knock to his thigh which slowed him down. It’s good to get the game out the way that’s for sure.”

The boss also praised goalkeeper Ben Wilson for his excellent save in the first half to keep the game scoreless.

“Ben’s made a really good save in the first half and really, one in the second half, but they didn’t threaten us at all really.

“It was a fairly straight forward performance. It was about us trying to work out passing angles and movement and it just fell short a little bit at times.

Robins also believes tonight’s game served a purpose for his young squad, with some players playing their first minutes of the season on Tuesday night.

“We tired in the second half, but they’re young players and some of them were getting their first taste of action this season.

“It was difficult for them because they tired, but we need to get minutes into them. I think it served a purpose.”

He was also pleased to take home two points from the fixture, with the Sky Blues receiving a bonus point for winning the shootout.

“Two points in the first game is okay. It’s a first-team game and we had a younger squad and they’ve got more experience, so it was always going to be that type of game.”


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