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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Swindon Town Reaction

City were beaten 2-1 by Swindon at the County Ground...

15 August 2020

Mark Robins believes it was a "much-needed exercise" for his Sky Blues side as City played their second pre-season friendly against Swindon Town.

City were beaten 2-1 at the County Ground with Matty Godden scoring the Sky Blues first goal of pre-season after Tyler Smith and Scott Twine had put the Robins two goals ahead.

Following their first outing against Rangers last month, Robins believes the friendly was a much-needed exercise for his players against League Two champions Swindon.

Robins said: “It was a much-needed exercise, they’re a good side, certainly in the first half, we kept giving the ball away from defence which was unusual for us, but we’ve been out for so long and not played games, apart from the one game against Rangers.

“This was different, against League One opposition, they’ve got some good players in their team and it did us good in terms of getting a game under our belts, they have to learn to cope with that again.

“In the second half we looked a lot better, a lot brighter, in terms of a workout, it was a decent workout, there were a lot of things that were good. It shows us where we’re at and where we need to be and we’re going to have to sprint a lot more that’s for sure.”

The manager admitted City weren’t at their best and struggled on the ball but acknowledged that it will take time for his players to get back into the groove.

“Our use of the ball wasn’t great today, but generally is, we keep the ball pretty well and create opportunities for ourselves, today that wasn’t the case because we kept giving it away at the back and we couldn’t build anything.

“We want to try and press higher up the field, but you can’t do that if you can’t get close to their defenders and the man on the ball.

“We’re playing a certain way and it takes time and obviously, with the length of time that we had in lockdown, it’s going to take a little bit of time.”

However, Robins was pleased with City’s second half showing and feels the Sky Blues now know where they need to be at, in terms of their performance, when the competitive season starts.

“We looked quite sharp at times without the ball, in terms of movement, I thought we were a lot better in the second half and, in terms of our performance, we can take a lot more from the second half than the first half, but it’s shown us where we need to get to.

“It’s been a difficult pre-season, we’ve tried to manage it as best as we can, but it’s the same for everybody, we’re only just finding out what it’s like to play in an empty stadium, but we’ve still got three weeks to go.

“There’s a lot of work to do with the new signings, all three of them are just finding their feet and finding an understanding with the players around them.”

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