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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Bristol Rovers Reaction

The Sky Blues are now ten games unbeaten in all competitions...

1 February 2020

Mark Robins hailed a “magnificent” three points after the Sky Blues came from behind to defeat Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium in Sky Bet League One on Saturday afternoon.

The Sky Blues went behind to a strike midway through the first period from former City man Jonson Clarke-Harris before goals late in the half from Jamie Allen, his first for the club, and Liam Walsh secured an excellent three points.

That win means it is now ten games unbeaten for the Sky Blues in all competitions and Robins was delighted with the three points.

Robins said: “It’s always a hard-earned three points against Bristol Rovers, they’ve all been tough games, the conditions were poor, and I think all the players found it tough so it’s hard on the fans because they’re watching a game that’s not great.

“We didn’t start very well but we had a three-hour coach journey down and it has an impact. Some of the lads stayed down, some of them didn’t, it just took us a long time to get going.

“The first passing sequence we put together, we scored from, but we’d already given them opportunities, we defended poorly, there was no communication, there’s a lot of things that were wrong, but if you don’t play well and win there’s something going okay.

“I’m delighted with the three points, this is a tough place to come, certainly for us, historically it’s been a tough place to come.”

Robins was particularly pleased with the manner in which his side scored their two goals, with both goals coming off the back of excellent passing moves.

“Thankfully the second one I was right behind it, you could see it going in and the goalkeeper wasn’t anywhere near it. The new goalkeeper is a huge presence in the goal, he can kick it a mile, just don’t put it in his hands from set-plays.

“The goals have been fantastic passing from Walshy through the middle that split them, is was a great run from Jamie and a really good cool finish and then the second one was a side foot from Walshy into the top corner.”

Saturday’s fixture was the fourth meeting between the two sides this season and Robins praised his opposite number Ben Garner for changing the way Rovers play.

“They’re a better team, you can see what Ben is doing, he’s come in, in a short space of time and the turmoil he’s found himself in with his family, thankfully everything is okay there, he’s been out for a while, but he’s brought in some new players.

“It will take a little bit of time for them to gel, but you can see they’re hungry, that they’re trying to play for him and that he’s got a plan and it makes it more difficult.

“Obviously, the fact that we’ve played against each other four times has an impact and a bearing on the game. They’ve changed, which makes it more difficult, but I’m just pleased to get the game out of the way and get the three points, it’s a magnificent three points.

“It’s the second time we’ve played them in a month and given them a head start, thankfully we didn’t give them another goal this time and we got our fingers out and put a couple of passing sequences together that ended in brilliant goals given the conditions and the nature of the game.”

The manager also touched on the first goal his side have conceded in four matches, bemoaning a lack of communication between his players.

“I looked at it and thought Marko was coming and then the glance from Kyle meant he’d seen him coming but you can’t do that, you have to deal with the ball, then he’s changed his mind, gone back to his goal, and thinks Kyle’s dealing with it and nobody does.”

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