Michael Rose admitted that his Sky Blues teammates were ‘disappointed’ to have not won in their FA Cup 4th Round stalemate with Championship side Birmingham City.
Rose, who is enjoying his first season at Coventry City, said, “We are disappointed to be honest. I thought we were dominant for the majority of the game and created some good chances in the second half.”
Rose could only look on as team mate Callum O’Hare came close late on, but insisted that the dressing room are all behind the young midfielder. He said, “Callum’s chance, he puts away every time in training. But we’ve got a replay, and we have to go at it again.”
“He was saying he will be getting a bit of stick when he goes home, but look; no one’s going to be harsh on him, these things happen in football” Rose said.
"He will probably be thinking about it long into the night, but it happens.
We had a laugh with him but nothing serious; we know how brilliant he’s been for us so far, some will pick him up and keep him going.”
Rose was complimentary of teammate O’Hare. “Callum’s a really good player. It’s so hard to get the ball off him because he’s so smart. You’ll either foul him or he’ll wriggle away from you. He’s a player we need to keep until the end of the season.”
The game was sprung into life when manager Mark Robins changed the shape of his side, bringing Max Biamou and Callum O’Hare on and playing more direct. Rose believed that this gave the side the edge in the tie. “It gave us something different”, he said. “Obviously Baka came on too, it gives you two big strikers and something for them to think about. They dropped off, and it gave us that space to play and put them under pressure, but they held out.”
The pre-match conversation was all about the ‘tenants vs landlords’ narrative that the unique draw brought about, but Coventry seemed unfazed by the occasion.
“We tried to keep it as normal as possible. Obviously, there were distractions outside of us, but we had a normal week and prepared like we normally would.”
“I thought we were pretty comfortable to be fair. We played some decent stuff, played our normal game and created chances. On another day, we could have gone through, but we have the replay and we look forward to that.” After requiring FA Cup replays against Ipswich Town and Bristol Rovers in previous rounds, and Michael Rose is confident that City can make it a hat-trick of victories. “We’ve won the two previous replays, so we go again”, he said.
Yesterday’s result was also the third game on the bounce that the Sky Blues have kept a clean sheet in all competitions, and Rose explained that this was something that the defence have worked on in training. “I think we’ve spoken about clean sheets; we need to keep more”, he said. “We have three in a row now so we have to build on that.”
“There weren’t many chances but I thought we had the better spells on the ball and the better chances. In the second half we really pinned them in, but couldn’t get anything out of it.”
Before the replay, focus returns to League One, with a trip to Fleetwood on the cards. Rose is keen to stress that the league is the main priority within the squad. “It’s a really big game; we go up there and stamp our authority on the game, and hopefully come back with the three points”, Rose said. “There’s probably more interest for us in that game because there’s three points at stake. It’s a really important one.”
With Rotherham United dropping points in the league, Coventry are now 4 points off the summit of League One with two games in hand, but Rose knows that it is up to him and his team mates to take advantage of these games in hand. “We’re not looking at anyone else, we just focus on ourselves and go for three points”, he said.