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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins on Wigan Athletic win and goals from Viktor Gyokeres and Gustavo Hamer

City beat Wigan 2-0 at the Coventry Building Society Arena...

8 November 2022

Sky Blues boss Mark Robins says there is still work to do after goals from Viktor Gyokeres and Gustavo Hamer fired City to a seventh win in 11 games.

Hamer, aided by a deflection, and Gyokeres both struck late to hand Coventry a deserved three-point haul at the end of a game dominated by Robins' side.

The win saw City soar up the table, to within five points of the top six, as they made it three on the bounce in the Championship.

Speaking after the win, Robins said to the assembled media:

On the performance and the result...

"They set up really well to make it difficult and they’ve got a really good away record, so we had to be better than we were to try and open them up.

“We created bits and pieces, but not enough, and we didn’t move the ball quickly enough but we had lots of possession and they tried to kill the space, which is what you do and we weren’t really lively enough in the front end but we created bits and got an opening at the end of the first-half with Kasey [Palmer] and you expect it to go in the back of the net and its wriggled free.

"We weren’t fluid enough in terms of trying to create something and what we don’t want to do then is get anxious and try and chase something where everybody is forward and they counter and the ball is in the back of the net but, thankfully, we didn’t do that.

"We’ve just spoken in the changing room about this being a really good learning game for us and on the back of a win that’s really positive, so we can still learn from what we’ve done and we need to be better going forward because there are one or two situations we need to tighten up on.

“We’ll keep working and the games come thick and fast which makes it difficult as you’re rolling onto the next one and the next one is obviously the last one before the World Cup break."

On the second-half performance...

"Going into the second half, we were lively and ended up finding a little bit of space and we spoke at half-time being a little bit clever and cute to try and move the ball and trying to be quick with the ball as it was going to take something to open them up and the changes came and we needed to have a little bit more of an impetuous.

"Kasey and Callum O’Hare, those two were the ones identified as the match winners for me today and we were hoping they would open Wigan up but it went a little bit flat and we needed to make the changes and the second striker up front just freed us up, even though they tried to cause us a problem.

“We had plenty of possession and then it created a little bit of room and Gus[tavo] Hamer had got that for himself and got an extra yard, then shot, and thankfully it took a deflection because they were blocking everything because that’s what they do but it went in the back of the net and it made them come out a little bit more then.

“We got away with a few chances because they were throwing the ball in the box but we defended pretty well but they’re a real threat from long throw-ins and they put you under a lot of pressure but we dealt with that alright.

“It was one of those were it was 0-0 and you have to have something with a bit of brilliance that will open the game up and it just wasn’t there, it was too flat and that was on the back of the energy levels we’ve had to put in.

“What we spoke about at half-time coming out was that we couldn’t get anxious or let the anxiety of the stadiums and the supporters were fantastic - it went a little quiet but then it comes back and then they’re right behind the players - but what you don’t want to do is get carried away by that wave of emotion and open yourself up to a counter-attack because then everyone’s disappointed."

On Gustavo Hamer's goal...

“You have to keep working and it’s not about being gung-ho, it’s about doing things methodically and if the opportunity is there then take it. If not, then we’ve got to keep working to try and open it up and we did that.

"That was the pleasing thing that we kept doing those things to try and open them up and we did that with Gus’ extra step where he then hit it."

On Viktor Gyokeres' goal...

"The second goal was fantastic. Vik’s scored a lot of good goals for Coventry and he’s got that in his locker all day.

"He’s got the one on Saturday and this one was a different type of goal, the one on Saturday he reacted quickly and it was a brilliant finish but tonight’s was what we’re more used to seeing from him, it was na outstanding run and a brilliant finish.

"With Viktor [Gyökeres] up front and them committing bodies you know you’re going to get a chance.

"They’re trying to pull him back but he’s powered through and his touches into the penalty area, which opened up the angle for him, were fantastic and the quality to finish was perfect, it was really nice to see it go in and it’s a brilliant win against a stubborn team, I think Leam [Richardson] has done a fantastic job there."

On yet another clean sheet...

“We keep taking them. At the start of the season, we were shipping goals for fun and it wasn’t much fun.

"The players have worked hard and we’re making teams work really hard to get opportunities to even cross a ball, never mind shoot."

Heading into the final game before the International Break...

"We’ve got to keep going now, it’s not about taking the foot off the gas.

"We need to recover right and we have an injury to Michael Rose, I don’t know how bad that is but coming into the game he said his groin was a little tight, so hopefully it isn’t too serious and we find it’s a bit of fatigue and he’s okay.

"We need to recover properly in the meantime, because it’s going to be a really tough game on Saturday, they’re flying and a side with a lot of good results."

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