Mark Robins felt that today’s second half performance was ‘outstanding’ after the Sky Blues came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and maintain their home winning streak.
Goals from Matt Godden, Wesley Jobello and Callum O’Hare were enough to seal the win after a Sullay Kaikai double had put the Seasiders ahead.
The first goal was scored inside the first two minutes, and broke the run of three consecutive home games in the league without conceding. Robins admitted that it may have took his side by surprise. “It was a strange game” he said. “They scored in the first minute, and we just looked a bit reluctant to pass the ball.
“Obviously we’ve got a new starter in there, which changes the dynamic of (the midfield) a bit. The second goal they scored came off the back of some decent play by us, without really getting it going.”
The Sky Blues comeback began on 40 minutes, with Matty Godden firing home, and they were level after a deep cross found Wesley Jobello at the far post.
Manager Robins felt that the quick double was the best possible reply. “To come back from two goals down in the manner of the way the game started was outstanding”, he said. “To do that shows great character. The belief they got from coming in at 2-2 at half time changed the whole dynamic.”
“We spoke at half time about just being on the front foot, both mentally and by playing the way we know they can do. I’ve got to say they were outstanding.”
The second half was a lot more cagey than the first, with City applying the pressure but chances few and far between. The difference came in the 91st minute, with Callum O’Hare popping up with his second stoppage time goal for the Sky Blues. Robins said, “O’Hare has got his goal in the end; it was great to see it go in. Gervane (Kastaneer) also had a couple of chances after that to seal it, but that would have possibly been harsh on Blackpool.
“Even though they went down to ten men, we were building pressure before that. The way that we played, and how we were trying to get in was really really good.”
Robins was more than complimentary about his opponents, who were possibly unlucky not to leave with a point. “They are a really good side”, Robins said. “They are physical and a tough side to beat. I’m thankful that we’ve come through it. Not only that, the performance in the second half was something that we can be really proud of and build on.”
Captain Liam Kelly was unfortunately ruled out of today’s game through injury, with Kyle McFadzean deputising. Mark Robins admitted that the centre midfielder would be out for a significant period. “Kelly has picked up an ankle injury, and that will rule him out for a while. It could be three, four, five or six weeks or anything in between.”
“We needed to do something, and so we brought in Walshy (Liam Walsh), who is an outstanding footballer. He gets you on the ball and moving, and we’ve got a really nice balance now.”
Kelly’s replacement was Liam Walsh, who was a deadline day loan signing from Bristol City. The 21-year-old looked a real coup with his second half performance, and Robins was delighted.
Talking about the former Everton man after the game, he said, “He’s a good player. That’s what he brings, today was just a cameo of it.”
City fans would have been forgiven for worrying about the opposition scoring late on after Oxford’s 95th minute equaliser last week, but the Sky Blues held firm and Robins was pleased with his side’s three points. He said, “Look at the game last week. We’ve got to have that belief that we can turn it around and we did. That belief will stand us in good stead. To come back and play the way we did just goes to show that. I was pleased because the work on the training ground this week showed.”
“We’ve maybe freshened things up more than we would have done previously. I’m really pleased because they’ve shown great character in the game."