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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Nottingham Forest Preview

The City boss looks ahead to the opening game...

6 August 2021

Sky Blues boss Mark Robins is relishing the return of his side to Coventry this weekend, as they take on Nottingham Forest in the Championship season opener.

City will play their first competitive fixture at the Coventry Building Society Arena since 2019 when they kick-off against Forest this Sunday live on Sky Sports.

It will also be the Sky Blues second consecutive season in the Championship and with a return to Coventry and supporters back in stadiums, it promises to be a special season.

“It’s good to be back in Coventry and playing in front of supporters and I think there is going to be quite a few there against Forest and it’s going to be a brilliant game to start with.

“Being back in Coventry was the missing piece really, I think you can look at it with confidence, a lot of people have worked very hard on the deal like Dave Boddy, Stephen Vaughan and the people at Wasps, and now we don’t have to be looking over our shoulders anymore.

“It was brilliant news that we were coming back. I think the supporters will be excited to see their team and rightly so.

“The team has given us everything and we’ve built a strong team that’s together and they give everything so that’s all you can really ask.

“There is a bit of quality sprinkled in there and now we’ve had a year in the Championship it should stand us in good stead if we can build on what we did last season then we are in for a treat.”

The Sky Blues will take on Chris Hughton’s Nottingham Forest this weekend and Robins knows it will be a difficult test.

“Forest are a big club, they’ve been outside of the top-flight a long time, but they have wealthy backers, and they have some good players.

“During pre-season they have utilised their academy, which is strong like ours, they are always tough defensively with Chris, they must be up there with conceding the least number of goals last season.

“With Joe Worrall, Grabban, Taylor, Lolley, Alex Mighten, Brennan Johnson, they have some really good players with a lot of talent.”

With a weeks preparation in the tank following on from last weekend’s final pre-season fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the City boss spoke of the mentality shift he has seen in his squad, with all eyes focused on the visit of Nottingham Forest.

“Over the last week you have seen a mental shift in the players which Is a natural thing.” Robins said.

“I think the rhythm you generally get and build through pre-season has been intermittent but you try and get through that and see what you’ve got with the players that will become available.

“The younger players have been involved have helped the other players get to the stage they are at and it’s good for their development.

“There have been some really good positives in young players showing they can make the step-up and they find out things about themselves and showed they have resilience and a good mindset, as well as the senior players.

“Whilst it’s been a different pre-season it’s been worthwhile in getting to the place we need to get to. You don’t go into the season at full tilt it takes a bit of time to build up that momentum and as far as I’m concerned, we’re in a decent place to go into the new season.

“We still have more to do, we have not finished recruiting yet but there will be significant work to be completed for this window. The focus generally switches to the first game with a week to go and that’s what we’re doing.”


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