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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Praises Sky Blues Character

The City boss was full of praise for his side after defeating MK Dons in the Carabao Cup yesterday...

6 September 2020

Mark Robins praised the Sky Blues “character” as he looks ahead to the start of the new Sky Bet Championship season next weekend.

City won 1-0 against Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday to advance to the second round of the Carabao Cup, with debutant Tyler Walker scoring the game’s only goal.

The Sky Blues were reduced to 10-men in the first half after Declan Drysdale was dismissed for a foul inside the penalty area, with Marko Marosi sensationally denying Carlton Morris from the spot.

As well as praising City’s character, Robins is also looking forward to the beginning of the new campaign, with the Sky Bet Championship season kicking off next weekend.

Robins said: “The fitness that they’re going to get out of the game is brilliant and to show the character that we showed, with a man less, knowing the running we’ve had to do.

“I know we’ve done a lot of running and a lot of sprinting, we’ll need that as we’re going to need it on a game by game basis going into the season.

“We can’t wait for the Championship season to start, obviously it’s a work in progress and we’ve got to see where we’re at because it’s a little bit of an unknown, but it’s really exciting.

“We’ve got a brilliant game for us to start with next week against Bristol City, they’re expected to be up there in the top six, it’s a great start for us I think.”

The early red card gave Robins food for thought, but he opted against bringing on defender Michael Rose who wasn’t quite ready to enter the fray on Saturday afternoon.

“I wanted to try and get Michael on, but I just thought that it was too much, we’re playing a game on Tuesday and hopefully we can get the minutes into him that way and see where he’s at, he’s not too far away, his fitness levels will be a bit away.

“You can’t have too many good players, I was tempted to use him, I was tempted to put him on, but I wanted to have two strikers and I couldn’t do that straightaway because of the way that they were playing, it would have killed us.

“It was too much for Rosey, because I wanted another one upfront, I had to sacrifice that, but my first thought was to get Rosey on, clearly it was a big ask and it wouldn’t be fair on him.

“I think it was as important to get two strikers on and take the game to them and after an hour it felt like the right time to do that, they’d started to die away a little bit, we’d seen off their threat.

“We defended really, really well to get a clean sheet and it’s outstanding going into a season with a clean sheet.”

The game was the City’s first competitive fixture played at an empty stadium and Robins admits he can’t wait to have the Sky Blues faithful back in the stands.

“We’ve done alright, playing in an empty stadium, we’re coping with it rather than getting used to it, nobody wants to get used to this.

“I can’t wait to see the supporters back in the stadiums, normally we bring five to ten thousand here, I’ve been here when we’ve filled the bottom end, it’s been incredible, the atmosphere has been outstanding, it’s flat at the moment.”

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