Zain Westbrooke feels that today’s draw against Oxford United is a ‘learning curve’ after the Sky Blues were pegged back twice at the Kassam Stadium.
It was Coventry City’s second 3-3 away draw of the season, and Westbrooke felt that his teammates put their all in:
“It was a bit of a rollercoaster”, he said.
“We weren’t the better team in the first half. We knew when we came in at halftime that we could do a lot better, and I think in the second half we showed that.
“We dug in deep; we gave it everything at the end, but it just wasn’t to be.”
The midfielder bagged his second of the season in the first half, from a direct free kick. It came at a stage where Oxford were beginning to apply pressure to the City backline.
“We knew it was going to be a hard test for us and we were gonna have to take our chances when they came. My goal came at a time where they were at their strongest, which is always a good time to get a goal; it deflates them a bit.”
City looked to have wrapped up their first away win of the season when Callum O’Hare tucked away a 91st minute goal, but were foiled by Elliot Moore three minutes deeper into injury time.
Westbrooke said that the dressing room were disappointed, but not dwelling on the result. “Everyone was saying after the game, this is a big learning curve for us. We’ve been the better team in probably every game we’ve played so far, so we do need to learn to adapt and be brave.
“We need to show what they showed there in the first half and bring our style out on the game. In the second half we did that, but it just wasn’t to be.”
There were similarities in the scoreline between this game and the Portsmouth fixture 10 days ago, but Zain felt that this is where similarities ended.
“It was a different test at Portsmouth; we had to dig in but that was just how the game went”, he said. “This was probably a better team to play against. We had to be better defensively, better organised and I think we were.”
The Sky Blues have enjoyed the majority the possession in most of the games they have played this season, but this all changed here.
“We’re never going to have the ball all game; we’d like that but realistically it’s not going to happen”, Westbrooke told us. "We need to be a bit better, especially away from home, at trying to keep teams at bay and not letting teams in behind us.”
Today was the start of a challenging week for City; Walsall visit St Andrews on Tuesday, before Blackpool on Saturday. Westbrooke is keen to move on from today’s late disappointment.
“The last goal was frustrating. When we scored the third goal, it slowed them down. We had them where we wanted them, with three minutes to go. It’s disappointing to concede, but these things are going to happen, and we have to come back next game and win.”
Callum O’Hare became Coventry’s ninth scorer of the season; Zain believes this is something that the Sky Blues have made an active effort to achieve since pre season.
“We had Jordy (Hiwula) and the centre forward scoring the majority of the goals and we felt we had to share it out, to give the strikers a bit less pressure. They can score goals, and we will support them with goals and assists.”
“We know we’re a good team, we know what we’re about, and we’ll be challenging at the top come the end of the season.”