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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins talks Middlesbrough, fixture schedule and injuries

The Sky Blues boss looks ahead to the upcoming fixtures...

30 September 2022


INTERVIEW: Mark Robins talks Middlesbrough, fixture schedule and injuries

The Sky Blues boss looks ahead to the upcoming fixtures...

30 September 2022

Sky Blues boss Mark Robins has revealed the excitement amongst his squad, as they return to action at the Coventry Building Society Arena this weekend.

Saturday’s clash with Middlesbrough will be City’s first Saturday home fixture of the season, and just their second of the season in total.

The fixture is the first of 12 in the next six weeks for Mark Robins’ side and presents them their first opportunity to begin to climb the table.

Also, this week, City have seen Callum O’Hare and Liam Kelly take the next step in their rehabilitation, as they continue their recoveries from injury.

Mark Robins spoke to the press earlier today and addressed the upcoming run of fixtures, Middlesbrough and the latest injury news.

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On playing back at home this weekend…

“It's been a long time coming, hasn't it? I think it's exciting for everybody. I think the supporters are certainly due a home game and so are the players.

“We're looking forward to it. It's a good game and there are loads of reasons to be positive and the main one obviously is going back playing in front of the supporters at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

“I think the players have been starved of these games and I think that you'll see a wall of noise tomorrow, and we'd love to see a huge number.

“The noise levels have gone up in training and the excitement around the game is there and you can see it when they become noisier and more vocal you can see the excitement starting to build and it’s there for everyone to see.

“But like I said, we're just looking forward to getting back and playing in front of the supporters and putting on a decent show and hopefully we can put on a performance that warrants three points.”

Why the international break came at the wrong time…

“I think with the two games that we had against Luton and then obviously Birmingham last time out we were starting to get a rhythm and then obviously that's interrupted by the international break which was what we didn't want.

“The rest of the teams probably wanted a little bit of a break, but we were just starting to try and get into a rhythm and that was interrupted but it starts now for us.

“We've got a really good game to focus on and we've been focusing on that this week.”

On the busy 12-game run ahead for the Sky Blues…

“Well, it certainly changes now, we’ve got an explosion of games, there's obviously twelve games now before the next break for the World Cup.

“They come thick and fast now so it's really important that we try and build performance levels and we try and build the levels of the players and we try and win football matches.

“The turnaround is really quick. We've got to make sure that everybody recovers as well as they possibly can do and we've got to try and keep everybody fit.

“That's really what we'll be trying to do but our focus is really entirely on the game tomorrow.”

On Middlesbrough and the games that will follow...

“Well, it's always a tough league and you've got to try and get a run of games where you can build your performance levels, which obviously includes building confidence and we've not had that chance to do that.

“Obviously, out of seven games we've had six away from home and it's been really strange, and I think we're a point behind where we were from our six away games last season and that sort of should put things into context and perspective for people and not least for us in the building.

“You look at that league table and you don't want to be anywhere near where we sit at the moment, but we've just got to be calm and build into the performance.

“It's really important that we maintain that and build into performances so that we can start to win football matches and that’s why the last two games, it was pleasing to get the first clean sheet because we were conceding too many goals, but there are a lot of teams in the same position or a similar position.”

An update on Callum O’Hare…

“He’s not close enough for my liking, but he's a lot closer than we thought he may be at this stage, so that's a good thing.

“I don't want to really put too much of a time pressure on him because it's a really important period for him to make sure that he's fully healed.

“But, to see him on the pitch obviously means that he's not too far away and we look forward to the time when we can include him again.

“Callum being out on the grass is great for everyone, you don’t want to see anyone injured. It’s the first time we’ve been without him since he came and you miss his personality and his energy around the squad, it makes a big difference.”

On Liam Kelly's return to training…

“He's a lot closer. He's a bit closer than Callum, but like I say, they won't be too far apart. So that's a good thing and as long as Kells is physically okay, then he'll be back in with us.

“You miss Liam as well, he’s an older player and more mature and I say it with the greatest respect, he’s someone who’s calm, and he’s been there seen it and done it.

“You have to be really careful with the injuries they’ve had and if I spoke to Kelly now, he would say he’s ready, you know what he’s like, but we have to make sure we’re doing right by him.”

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