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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins on Middlesbrough win, clean sheet and Kasey Palmer's performance

The Sky Blues boss addresses the media after defeating Middlesbrough…

1 October 2022


INTERVIEW: Mark Robins on Middlesbrough win, clean sheet and Kasey Palmer's performance

The Sky Blues boss addresses the media after defeating Middlesbrough…

1 October 2022

Mark Robins praised his side’s performance after the Sky Blues recorded their first Championship win of the season against Middlesbrough at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Viktor Gyokeres’ first-half strike gave the Sky Blues the lead which they held out to secure their first win of the season.

With the win, City tallied their second clean sheet of the season, coming in consecutive games after their first in the draw against Birmingham City prior to the international break.

After the win agains Boro, Robins said his side were well-worthy of their win and commended his players as they hope to build form going into the upcoming hectic period of matches.

On the win against Middlesbrough…

“I think it was a brilliant performance and a performance that we deserved, we started the game really brightly and we should’ve put the game to bed in the first half.

“We had some decent opportunities and played some good football and opened them up with Viktor [Gyökeres] and Kasey Palmer early on but eventually Vik has got his goal.

“I think it was a really good performance and a well deserved win. We’ve had countless times where we’ve broken away and they’ve held onto our players, one with Viktor, I think they wanted to swap shirts early on and Matty Godden and even Kasey Palmer.

“One moment that sticks out is at the end where Callum Doyle’s put his head out and it was a brilliant cross and he’s cleared it and we won the game. 

“Boro had a really strong bench and they made changes early because they were a goal down, so they bring on the pace and try and open us up and they got one or two crosses in the but we defended it well and Ben [Wilson’s] been there a couple of times and the pressure started to build but we dealt with it brilliantly.

“When they made the changes it became more tactical at the end and we tried to stifle what they do because they were in the ascendancy and their bench is very strong, ours is getting stronger but its not that strong yet.

“Some real hard work and graft today and some quality to get the goal and it was also well supported, so thank you to the supporters, you take it for granted but it was phenomenal, so thank you.

“The players were brilliant, they rub off on each other and it was a really good win and a much needed win and you look at it, it’s the first game we’ve played at home on a Saturday and it’s October.

“Now you can feel things changing because the players know we’re going to be playing now, the pitch is in really good condition and credit for that. It’s fantastic and it feels like the first day of our season really.”

On the club's second clean sheet of the season…

“We’ve defended with our bodies on the line. Kyle McFadzean’s been ill all week, he’s only been in for a couple of days and only ran on Wednesday, but that’s a testament to him.

"His character is a joke. He’s come in and is old school in terms of his values, but he will run through a brick wall and he’s been there every step of the way today.

“He’s got young centre-half alongside him, so he’s dealing with that and helping them through games and those lads were late in with us, they didn’t do pre-season really, so it was always going to take a little bit of time.

"Michael Rose was injured at the start of the week, trained on Monday but dropped out and didn’t join in until the last block of training on Thursday and Friday was a really light session leading into a matchday."

On the performance of Kasey Palmer…

“It was his best game in a Coventry City shirt. At the end against Birmingham City, he was good because it was high energy and he got his foot in.

“Kasey was outstanding in the first half, he controlled our attacks and we looked fluid and a threat and clearly we’re trying to build confidence into the players.

“The quality is undoubted but he’s working hard to create the chances for himself and he’s hard-working for others and when you have him and Callum O’Hare returning to fitness, those two are a real threat.”

On the difficult start to the season and the road ahead…

“I don’t think you can underestimate how difficult its been for everybody. The psychological impact, the physical impact because you’re not playing games, even though you’re trying to replicate in training you can’t and teams are starting to get into the stride a little bit more, we were caught out because of the circumstances which we don’t want to go into because the pitch is outstanding now, so let’s get on with it.

“It took us a little bit of time but the performances have been outstanding, we should’ve beat Sunderland and Millwall but we gave away stupid goals and there has been times in games where we could’ve gone on and won them. In all the games we’ve been in them, except the one where we couldn’t get near them at Norwich.

“The games have been really tough for us but when you’re going away from home all the time and you’re not sure you’re going to play it has a negative psychological impact, but we're through that now and we can focus on the positives, the players are in a brilliant place, they’re all excited because they can see the games coming thick and fast and they’re up for it."

On the support of the home fans...

“We’re being supported by an incredible crowd who want to see the players doing well and these lads will reciprocate with the performances.

“It gives you lift off, theres no doubt. We’ve been crying out to be able to play a run of games and its just not happened but now it can happen and we can grow into it.

"There will be ups and downs, we’re a young backline but we’ve got players coming back but we need everybody fit and everybody available, we can’t be doing with Gustavo [Hamer] getting suspended, we’ve won this game today but had he been available it gives you another string to your bow and it causes them all sorts of problems.

"The lads that play today had phenomenal work rate and that includes Josh Eccles at the end who made sure that they couldn’t find the space to come and attack us and we’ve dealt with everything really well.

On the upcoming Bristol City clash...

“I think they lost today to QPR and I think it’s a tough league but we go there with renewed confidence and like I said hopefully we can build into that, take nothing for granted, we’re going have to work really hard to get something from there."

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