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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Southampton Preview

City make the trip to St Mary's this weekend...

4 February 2022

The Sky Blues make the trip to Premier League side Southampton in the FA Cup Fourth Round this weekend and City boss Mark Robins is expecting a difficult challenge.

City progressed into this stage of the competition after beating Derby County 1-0 at the Coventry Building Society Arena at the start of January.

The Sky Blues will be backed by over 5,000 supporters in the away end come 3pm at St Mary’s and Robins told how he can feel the excitement leading up to the fixture.

“We’re glad to be in the fourth round. It’s an unfamiliar one for me, it’s the first time I have been to St Mary’s, so we’re looking forward to it.

“From a football perspective we’re trying to prepare the team for the game, and you realise how good they are.

“So, I think there is certainly a lot of excitement in the building and around the place, clearly, we are taking a huge following again.

“The atmosphere will be really good, there’s over 5,000 going down which is unbelievable, so they will be boisterous, and they will be fully behind the team so what’s not to be excited about it.”

The Sky Blues come up against Premier League opposition in this competition for the first time since a fifth round tie with Bright back in 2018.

Robins is looking ahead to the test that a Saints side blessed with international representation, will present to his side.

“They are a top team with really good young players and a young squad really with a sprinkle of experience, but the experience is really good too.

“You have got international players there from lots of different nationalities and a lot of quality and loads of Premier League experience.

“I think, clearly, it’s a tough game there is no doubt about it regardless of what team they play, I expect them to be at full hit and I expect them to play a really strong team.”

With the two sides playing in different league heading into the fixture, it is the Saints who head into the games as favourites and Robins believes that his side have nothing to lose with that the narrative heading into the fixture.

“We haven’t got anything to lose, they’re expected to win and if they turn up and play well then generally nine times out of ten, that will happen, but were looking forward to it.

“We’re a good competitive team at Championship level, we’re mid-table and we have to go to a team that are mid-table in the Premier League that play a really good brand of football, that presses incredibly well with pace.

“We will have to be right at it and it’s a brilliant challenge for us to try and play some football and understand what’s coming and deal with it as best as we can do, whilst trying to cause them some problems as well.

“We will try and do things as we normally do and we have to be mindful of the quality of the opponent and understand that and deal with that first and foremost.

“But I think if we can be calm, because they will put us under a lot of pressure, if you can be calm when you regain the ball on the transition and you use it well then there’s a chance we can create problems, but in the first instance we have to understand what Southampton are.

“We’re coming up against a really good side who are brilliantly coached and he is a top, top coach Ralph Hasenhüttl and I think it’s a good club who produce good players.”


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