Mark Robins praised the “physicality” his side showed in their 3-1 win against Rotherham United at St Andrew’s on Saturday afternoon.
Early strikes from Max Biamou and Tyler Walker handed City a two-goal lead at half-time before Leo Ostigard’s first goal for the Sky Blues took the game out of Rotherham’s reach in the second period.
The manager was delighted with his side’s performance and was pleased with how City stood up to the Millers physical style of play.
Robins said: “It was a strong, physically, tactically good performance, we were brilliant, we defended behind the two strikers who led the line fantastically well, we gave them good chances to score, which they took, the first two goals were outstanding.
“Their goalkeeper kept them in the game, we were disappointed to be going in at half-time just two-nil up because of the pressure they out you under, the only downside was the penalty we gave away, that they scored.
“They can be forgiven for that because the amount of pressure that Rotherham put on you, they’re a good side, a really difficult side to play against and we stood up to that challenge and played some really good stuff on the other side of it.
“They’re very difficult to play against and I’m delighted with the way we went about the job and the goals from Max Biamou and Tyler up front, and Baka when he came on, with Callum O’Hare behind them with Gus and Kells, the team was done fantastic work today.
“I thought we were really good, I thought we defended well and I think you have to give them great credit for that.”
Despite Daniel Barlaser scoring a late consolation for the visitors from the penalty spot, Robins felt his side deserved recognition for the amount of they work they put in, limiting the visitors to just a couple of chances in front of goal.
“I couldn’t see the penalty, I knew he was going to give it, as soon as he started wandering over to his assistant referee, it was nailed on that he was going to give it, he was undecided, he’s had a chat and they’ve given it.
“It was disappointing, what we’ve done all game, we didn’t do in that instance, when they’ve worked so hard, they can be forgiven, it’s just disappointing that we conceded.
“When they’ve done the work that they’ve done to keep their chances down to very, very few, they need to be given the plaudits they deserve, it’s very difficult to play against them, if you switch off once, it gives them an opportunity to get something and unfortunately for us they got the penalty.”
Robins admitted that Rotherham are a difficult side to play against and praised the desire of his players to prevent the Millers from asserting themselves in the contest.
“Behind the ball, we were brilliant, there was some big headers, big tackles and great blocks, Callum O’Hare has thrown himself in front of one in the first-half, they want to come down onto you and press you high up the field and try and out you under that much pressure that you start making mistakes.
“They’ve got some talent, they were in this league the year before last, they’ve got some players that have played at this level before, a lot more games than some of our players have had and they’re very difficult to play against.
“They are a mirror image of what Paul did as a player, he was actually a better player than he probably gave himself credit for, he used to run around and put them under that pressure he never stopped, his team reflects what he was like as a player.”