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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins gives squad update

The Gaffer spoke of the strong competition for places...

18 September 2021


INTERVIEW: Mark Robins gives squad update

The Gaffer spoke of the strong competition for places...

18 September 2021

Sky Blues boss Mark Robins spoke about the availability of players ahead of today’s trip to Millwall.

Defender Fankaty Dabo will miss the next three matches after his dismissal against Cardiff, and Robins spoke in Friday's press conference about the suspension and said that it will give an opportunity for another member of the Sky Blues squad to impress.

“I don’t think we will (appeal), as I think that would be viewed unfavourably, so we’ve just got to get on with it. It’s a blow for both him and us and he’s got himself to a really good level.

“He’ll train in the meantime, if the games were Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, I think that would be a big blow but instead he’ll be missing ten days and be back for Fulham just before the international break.

“We’ve just got to move on and get on and cope with it, although it’s difficult to say that you can because he has been one of the key performers really in the season so far but it’s a chance for someone else to come in and stake a claim really."

When asked if this was the reason Todd Kane was brought in, Robins stressed the importance of the squad and said that he believes they will all get their chance over the course of the campaign.  

“That was clearly one of the reasons why we did that, and you need competition for places anyway and he will certainly provide that, and again with Julien in the building that’s important as well.

“It just shows that for anybody out the side, they’re really important those lads who aren’t necessarily in the team. They’ll get their opportunity there is no doubt about it and they’ve got to be ready to take it."

The Manager then gave an update on two players who have got vital minutes under their belts for the U23s of late, as skipper Liam Kelly and summer signing Bright Enobakhare work their way back to full fitness.

“Kels played 70 minutes the other day, he cramped up a little bit but he’s fine. He trained yesterday (Thursday) and he’ll train again today (Friday) so he is eking closer. He has been out a long time; you are looking at the Stoke game being his last league game and he’s not done a pre season, but he’s really been working hard back to a level so he’s almost there.

“I’m going to look at that now, we’ll train after we’ve had this conversation, but I just want to see how they look, what they are looking at, how they’re moving, and how they’re interacting and really make a decision from there.

“The fact we are travelling today (Friday), means we have time together, this evening and tomorrow before the game, gives me a bit of time to assess or finalise anything so we’ll just wait and see.

“Bright is not injured, he’s just training. But he has to get his levels up, you can see he is moving a little bit better but again he has to get closer to the rest of the group.

“It is difficult with Bright because he is someone who responds to a crowd, if there was a crowd at training to replicate the noise then you would get a little bit more, but he has to earn the right in the first instance to get in the team and that is something everybody has to do.

“It is not a divine right that you will be involved, you have to earn it and once you’re in you have to keep earning it because you have to have that competition and that real desire to make your mark. There is a lot of players here that want to do that, I’m not saying Bright is not, but we have to see a little bit more." 

Finally, Robins explained how Josh Pask and Tom Billson are continuing their respective rehabs, after the latter picked up an injury out on loan at Scunthorpe United last month.

“Pask is not fit at the minute, he is injured, but he is away from the group, so he is down at the Higgs, and he is receiving treatment at this moment in time.

“Tom's injury was knee ligaments. From when he did the injury, he would be three months out so he is still on his way to recovery and his knee is still in a brace so he is going to be a little while longer yet.”

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