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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Middlesbrough Reaction

The Sky Blues were edged out by Middlesbrough on Tuesday night...

2 March 2021

Mark Robins felt his side needed more “quality” in the final third after the Sky Blues lost late on against Middlesbrough at St Andrew’s on Tuesday night.

City matched their opponents for the majority of the game and took the lead through an own goal only for George Saville to snatch a late winner for Neil Warnock’s side.

The manager felt his team were too direct in the first half and succumbed to the pressure Middlesbrough put the Sky Blues under in the second period.

Robins said: “We ended up not getting the balance right in the first-half, the way we play, we went too long, even though we went a goal up, you want to try and control the game a little bit.

“They’ve got quality players, the way they play they put you under massive pressure, they try and grind you down and grind results out with their aggressive positions that they take up, the quality that they have and the pace that they’ve got.

“They get you in positions that you don’t necessarily want to be in and they build the pressure that way which is what happened at the end.

“We dealt with everything, they’ve not created a great deal other than the goal in the first half, we’ve gone too direct at times, but when you’re going direct you have to go direct with a bit of quality.

“Unfortunately, we’ve succumbed to the pressure they were able to build, we’ve got to put that to bed now, it’s a big game on Saturday for us.”

Despite the defeat Robins felt his side were the better team in the second-half and was pleased with the impact Matty James had on the game.

“There’s some things that we did in the second-half where I thought we were better and in more control of the game which was ironic because they ended up getting the winner and it was a horrific goal.

“The changes that they made enabled that because of the quality and pace that they’ve got, they’re Premier League quality players, to give them a little bit of a boost, but we still looked like we were the ones that were going to get the win.

“When Matty James came on I thought he got control of the game and we started to create a little bit more and were more of a force and a threat, the quality was just lacking from time to time.”

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