Mark Robins praised the Sky Blues “outstanding” defence after City defeated Milton Keynes Dons 1-0 in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
Debutant Tyler Walker struck the decisive goal, eight minutes from time, from the substitutes bench, although the Sky Blues played the majority of the game with 10-men after Declan Drysdale’s first half dismissal.
Despite the sending off, City held strong to advance to the second round of the competition and Robins was happy with his side’s performance at Stadium MK.
Robins said: “I’m happy with the result and the way we’ve played, the sending off was really harsh, whether it was a penalty wasn’t debatable, but certainly not a sending off and that put us on the back foot.
“Against a team that keep the ball really well and move the ball really well, it meant that we had to do a lot of running and we did it really well and managed to create the best chances in the game, other than the penalty, which was a fantastic save.
“As soon as that happens, you know you’re going to get chances against them, it’s whether you’re going to take them and thankfully we took one of them, which is what we bought Tyler in for, to get us through to the next round.”
This was the second meeting between the two sides in as many weeks, with the Sky Blues claiming a pre-season victory against the Dons, something that Robins feels made today’s fixture even more difficult for his side.
“You can pick the bones out of this one and learn from it, it was interesting, I knew it was going to be a good game and I don’t think that playing them two weeks ago really helped.
“It was difficult, but we’ve managed to get through and that’s the most important thing, going into next week this has been a really good competitive exercise.”
The manager was full of praise for his defenders, who limited the Dons threat despite the hosts having a man advantage.
“We didn’t get enough pressure on the ball, high enough up the field, to try and nullify them, they play a really good style of football and they’re clever, it’s difficult to get the ball off them unless you break and engage them.
“I thought Josh Pask defended really well, considering he’s filling in, Dom Hyam and Kyle McFadzean were outstanding at the back and Ryan Giles did particularly well to stop the threat.
“When we went down to 10-men, Gustavo and Shipperz ran their legs out and I know that Callum O’Hare and Jamie Allen have got unbelievable energy which helped us.
“Tactics go out the window to a degree, with Kellz coming on and two strikers upfront, you just need to nullify them and try and put them under pressure the other way and thankfully we got a chance that was taken by Tyler.”
“Both Tyler and Baka came on and did an unbelievable amount of running in a short space of time, but if we’re better on the ball then we can cause teams problems as well.”