The Sky Blues suffered a cruel late defeat against Middlesbrough at St Andrew’s on Tuesday night.
City took the lead when Anfernee Dijksteel put through his own net early on before goals either side of the break from Grant Hall and George Saville secured all three points for the visitors.
Mark Robins side now turn their attentions to this weekend’s clash with Derby County as they look to bounce back from a tough result having matched their opponents throughout the contest.
Robins made three changes from the side that drew with Blackburn Rovers last weekend with Michael Rose, Gus Hamer and Callum O’Hare all coming into the side in place of Leo Ostigard, Matty James and Jordan Shipley respectively.
City took the lead with the first meaningful attack of the game when Sam McCallum’s long throw from the left was flicked on by Rose and bundled into his own net by Dijksteel under pressure from Max Biamou.
Rose was in the thick of the action soon after when he made a superb block to deny Neeskens Kebano goalbound effort.
In a half of few chances, Gus Hamer found some space on the edge of the penalty area before firing an effort a few yards wide of the right-hand post.
The visitors equalised through Hall when he headed into the right corner of the goal from Paddy McNair’s right-wing free-kick.
Neil Warnock’s side almost created another opening right on the stroke of half-time only for McCallum to bravely throw himself in the way of Jonny Howson’s attempted shot to make a crucial block.
HALF-TIME: SKY BLUES 1-1 MIDDLESBROUGH
Both teams battled for control in the opening period of the second-half with defences on top in a game where openings were at a premium.
Middlesbrough had a dangerous set-piece situation on the left which was swung in to the near post by Marcus Tavernier only for Kebano to miscue his effort from a few yards out on the left-hand edge of the six-yard box.
City introduced James from the bench with just under 20 minutes left to play replacing skipper Liam Kelly.
The substitute almost made an immediate impact when some neat footwork created an opening around 20-yards from goal with his effort deflected behind for a corner.
From the resulting set-piece, City played the corner short with Dabo and Hamer combining to work a shooting chance for the latter who fired a first time effort over the crossbar.
The Sky Blues continued to press for a winner and came close to finding one when Fankaty Dabo fired a ball across the face of the goal that was well held by Boro keeper Marcus Bettinelli.
Boro scored what proved to be the winning goal three minutes from time when Saville poked the ball home from close range after Howson’s deflected cross fell kindly into the midfielder’s path.
The visitors almost added a third goal in injury-time when Yannick Bolasie was sent clean through on goal only to fire his effort high into the side netting.
FULL-TIME: SKY BLUES 1-2 MIDDLESBROUGH
Goals: Dijksteel (og 12’), Hall (41’), Saville (87’)
Yellows: Akpom (31’), McNair (54’)
Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Fankaty Dabo, Michael Rose, Kyle McFadzean, Dom Hyam, Sam McCallum, Liam Kelly (C) (James 71’), Gus Hamer, Callum O’Hare, Tyler Walker, Max Biamou
Unused Subs: Marko Marosi (GK), Josh Pask, Ben Sheaf, Jordan Shipley, Jamie Allen, Wesley Jobello, Amadou Bakayoko, Viktor Gyokeres
Middlesbrough XI: Marcus Bettinelli (GK), Djed Spence, Anfernee Dijksteel, Grant Hall, Dael Fry, Marc Bola (Johnson 74’), Paddy McNair, Jonny Howson (C), Marcus Tavernier (Saville 85’), Neeskens Kebano (Watmore 74’), Chuba Akpom (Bolasie 74’)
Unused Subs: Jordan Archer (GK), Darnell Fisher, Sam Morsy, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Britt Assombalonga