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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Sunderland Reaction

The Sky Blues move to the top of the table after Sunderland win...

1 March 2020

Mark Robins praised the Sky Blues “brilliant” start after Matty Godden’s early goal sent City to the top of the Sky Bet League One table following a 1-0 win against Sunderland on Sunday.

Godden was slipped through by Jamie Allen just three minutes into the contest and smashed an effort past Jon McLaughlin which proved to be the difference between the two teams.

On his 200th game in charge of the Sky Blues, Robins also praised the quality of City’s goal and was pleased to keep a clean sheet against a side full of confidence.

Robins said: “We started off brilliantly, we were electric, and we had a few sighters of goal before Matty’s goal, it was a brilliant start and one that we needed against a strong and powerful team that are full of confidence.

“To keep a clean sheet and score a goal of that quality as well, it was a great ball from Jamie Allen into Matty Godden who’s adjusted his feet brilliantly and finished it in style, he’s capable of doing that.

“Then we had to defend for periods, they got a foothold, we created bits and there was nothing really in the game, it was a tough, hard-fought, game as we knew it would be.”

The manager also lauded the performances of both Fankaty Dabo and Sam McCallum praising the duo’s unbelievable work-rate to keep Sunderland’s danger men at bay.

“They’ve gone long into Wyke and had Lafferty to come on and we dealt with everything, the three centre-halves and the goalkeeper were magnificent, Sam and Franky have put an unbelievable shift in because of the amount of yardage they’ve had to cover.

“The same goes for their wing-backs because O’Nien is like a battery, he just keeps going, so Sam had it all going on today, off the left-hand side he took Hulme off and put Gooch out there which gave him a different problem.

“Then they’ve got height and they just piled everyone into the penalty area in the second-half, we spoke about trying to keep a higher line because I felt we were too deep in the first half towards the end and we got a little bit stretched at times in the second half, as the game does and it became a bit like a basketball game.

“Having said that, we had a little bit more calmness of mind and calmness of thought and we got in because we were breaking on the counter attack and picked the wrong option but we really should have seen the game off.

“That said, we defended magnificently well and saw the game out and got the much-needed, hard-worked, three points.”

The Black Cats thought they had drawn level with around 15 minutes left to play only for the goal to be correctly ruled out by the officials for offside after a short period of deliberation.

Apart from that brief scare, Robins was delighted at how City limited the visitors to set-play deliveries and conceded few clear-cut chances over the course of the 90 minutes.

“It was two yards offside and we all knew it was offside, we haven’t got VAR thankfully, but the officials came to the right decision in the end.

“If you can keep a team like that quiet and just restrict them to set-play deliveries, which is their big threat, but to keep them quiet for the most part, and the big thing was keeping the ball on the pitch with Sam and Franky, especially Sam because they kept coming down that side and almost targeting that side.

“The way he gets his hips around and moves and keeps the ball on the pitch and keeps it in-play for us to keep getting up the field was invaluable and it can’t be understated, he’s done an unbelievable job for us today.”

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