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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Millwall Preview

City take on Millwall in their first game of the New Year...

31 December 2020

Mark Robins is looking forward to the “physical challenge” his Sky Blues side will face when they take on Millwall at the Den on Saturday afternoon.

City head into this weekend’s fixture having lost their last two matches on the road, despite having the better of the chances against Preston North End in midweek.

The Sky Blues are one place below Millwall in the table and the manager acknowledged the aggression and physicality the Lions possess ahead of Saturday’s clash.

Robins said: “They’re a tough team, they’re aggressive with what they do, it’ll be a different challenge for us, we can look forward to it, it’s a brilliant ground to go and play at, it’s always a tough place to go.

“They’ll present a really good physical challenge, they put you under pressure with their passing and the way that they move, it’s a tough game, but one we can look forward to.

“The intention is always to go and score and create chances to shoot, we haven’t done that often enough, the big thing for me is you can’t score if you don’t shoot and make sure you do it with meaning and take those opportunities when you do shoot.

“With Tyler Walker being injured and Matty Godden not being fit yet, having to use players that are half fit and the fact it’s not just down to those to score goals, and the fact we played really well the other night without scoring, means that it shouldn’t be a focus.

“We’re at a level where we’re playing against really good teams and really good players, whilst we were really disappointed with the result in midweek, large parts of the performance were really good.”

Robins feels City have deserved to pick up more points than they have done this season and is looking to add some quality to his squad when the transfer window reopens next month.

“We’ve done okay this season, we’ve played some brilliant football and we’ve lost some games we’ve deserved to win, we’ve deserved to pick up more points than we’ve got, but we haven’t got them so we need to double down and make sure that we keep going.

“It’s been very difficult because we’ve not been able to train, it’s just been game after game after game and injury after injury which means that we’ve not been able to get our strongest possible team out on the pitch.

“Hopefully we can add some quality to the team and to the group, they’ve been brilliant, they’ve given me everything that they’ve got, they’re getting to grips with the level and we just have to keep going and keep working towards our goals.

“I’m definitely looking to do some business in January as soon as the window opens, fingers crossed, the club have been brilliant, during this time it’s very difficult, I want some players to go out and get some games.

“We need a little bit of help in terms of numbers, but we need a bit more quality in there to help the others as well that have been working so hard.”

Preparation for Saturday’s match has been made even more difficult for the Sky Blues following yesterday’s announcement that even more people will join the toughest tier of Covid restrictions.

“It’s a different game and a different challenge and different circumstances around this Covid period, we’re in the midst of trying to get all the protocols back in place going back to the Summer, whilst planning for the game.

“We can’t eat together, we can’t get changed in the dressing rooms, we’ve been advised that we’ve got to travel on two coaches, but we can’t afford that so we’ve got to go on one coach, mitigated by using face masks and not having the staff in all the time.

“Players can’t have contact with each other, other than coming into the building and getting tested this morning, getting changed, going outside and waiting in freezing cold temperatures, there’s all of those challenges as well that we’re facing.

“It’s just a case of winding back the clock and trying to mitigate against the virus, people’s health comes first, on the back of that we’ve got planning to do for a really difficult game against a team that have been shutdown because of Covid and having that issue themselves, hopefully they’re all clear and the game goes on without any issues.

“It’s tough for everybody, people need to take responsibility and do what’s right, it’s New Year’s eve tonight, people shouldn’t be mixing and having party’s and things like that, it’s time to try and get things back on an even keel.

“Things are starting to get a little bit near to the bone for a lot of companies and a lot of businesses, football is no different, there’s no sign of supporters coming back, but there’s a vaccine on the horizon that will hopefully get rolled out and it won’t be too long before they can administer it.”


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