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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Bristol Rovers Reaction

Sky Blues manager happy with 'good character' from his side...

5 January 2020

Mark Robins felt that with 'better finishing’ his Coventry City side would have won today after coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 against Bristol Rovers today.

A penalty from former Sky Blue Jonson Clarke-Harris and a goal from Tony Craig gave the home side the lead twice at the Memorial Stadium, but a Liam Walsh effort and an own goal in the second half were enough to force a replay at St Andrews.

Robins felt that his side had possibly deserved more from the game despite falling behind twice. He said, “I’m frustrated because we gave up two goals. It wasn’t an ideal start. We looked bright, then they got a penalty. It’s not a great start when you find yourself 1-0 down.”

“We kept playing and were really a bit of quality finishing away from the win. They got themselves in front with a set play goal, and we had to come back again. We showed good character to do so. We created some good chances, but just couldn’t finish.”

City found themselves playing away from home for the third match in a row, but could not make it a hat trick of wins on their travels. Boss Robins felt that the busy Christmas schedule may have played its part in this. “I thought we played well”, he said. “You could see we’d played on a heavy pitch the other day (vs Tranmere), and that takes quite a bit of your legs.”

“I thought we weren’t moving the ball as well as we can do and there were a few things we need to work on, but that’s the same for everyone.” However, he was understandably happy with his side keeping the Sky Blues alive in the cup. “We can be happy we’re still in the hat; we get to see a preview of whats ahead if we get through.”

Robins named an unchanged side for the fourth match in a row, but hinted at rotation for the replay. “People talk about the extra games, but we don’t mind it. It’s good practice; players need games” he told journalists. “The replay comes at a time where we have a few tough games, so the squad might be used.”

The two Bristol Rovers goals came from set pieces, which Robins was unhappy to concede. “Both goals were disappointing; we dropped ourselves in it” he said. Robins also lamented ‘careless’ play building up to the incidents that led to goals, saying, “There was some careless passing that really led to the goals, we just weren’t tidy enough.”

“They’re a good side; they have some good players and make it as tough as they can. But we showed good character to come back.”

After scoring four goals in their last two games, the Coventry City manager felt that they could have made it three on the bounce with the opportunities they carved out, especially in the second half. He said, “The chances we created were good enough; the chance right at the end for Matty Godden you’d have put your house on him to score. Their goalkeeper made some terrific saves. Overall it was a good game; a decent cup tie.”

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