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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins talks Allen contract, open training session and Swansea challenge

6 April 2023


INTERVIEW: Mark Robins talks Allen contract, open training session and Swansea challenge

6 April 2023

Sky Blues boss Mark Robins is looking forward to the Easter weekend, as City look to close the gap on the sides above them.

City will face Swansea City and Watford in a four-day period, travelling to South Wales before then hosting the Hornets at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Ahead of that trip to Wales, Robins told how he is looking for his side to bounce back from defeat last time out against Stoke City.

He also waxed lyrical about the Sky Blues supporters who came in their thousands to an open training session earlier this week, as well as addressing Jamie Allen signing a new contract…


Jamie Allen contract news…

“It’s brilliant news really. It’s something that’s we’ve been looking to do and thankfully we were able to do it and come to an agreement which is great.

“It secures him for another few years and maybe beyond that. He’s performed really well, and he deserves it.

“It gives him that stability and he has that understanding of how we work, and all of those things come together, and I’m really pleased he’s decided to stay with us.


“Jamie is one of the players we brought in from Burton Albion along with Kyle and the pair have been outstanding, achieving promotions with us among others.

“There are still players here who have experienced that and it’s important to retain the services of players who have that winning feeling.

“He’s improving all the time. He’s 28 and in the prime of his career and we’re really pleased he’s signed.”


Other players out of contract in the summer..

“There are still a number of players who are out of contract in the summer and have a lot to play for from now until the end of the season.

“A, if they’re in the side they have to stay there and perform to a level we expect and know they can and then B, if they’re not in the side, try and get in there and see where it takes us.

“There’s a lot of work going on at the moment in readiness for the window when it opens.

“That’s the job, ultimately if they don’t perform, they will fall by the wayside and if attitude is a problem, we don’t want that either.

“Every one of them has been brilliant and there’s been very little dissent or issues with any of them for a long time now and that comes with stability and expectations of how we work and the culture around the place with the players that maintain it, which is another reason to maintain players here that have been here for a long time.

“There’s an expectation of behavior and the way things work and that remains the case.”


Coming up against Swansea this weekend…

“We’ve got some brilliant games coming up and people can finish the season on high and a positive.

“It’s been really positive so far and we want to maintain that. The result against Stoke gave everyone a kick in the teeth.

“It’s how we respond and come back from that, and we have some difficult games coming up and a really difficult game tomorrow, which we haven’t had positive results against since we came back in the Championship.

“We should have had one at home, but they turned it round and the way they play they make it difficult for people.

“They’re first in terms of possession in the league this season and they have some quality and the way they work is a good way of working and interesting way of playing, but there are weaknesses to exploit, but we have to perform first and foremost tomorrow because we didn’t perform anywhere near the levels last time out.”


Swansea in and out of possession…

“Swansea put you under pressure because they have the ball a lot and they make you feel that, so there’s a balance to be had there.

“How do you get the ball back? People will say just go get it off them and fight it off them and of course you have, but if you come out of your slot, they will play through you or over you.

“Last year when we went there with a game plan and they played over us, and we’re reminded of that.

“If we can perform the way we need to tomorrow and we know we will spend spells out of possession, and if we can do that side of the job properly and be calm and play the way we can then it gives you every chance.

“We haven’t had much joy against in the few years we’ve been in the Championship. We’ve lost narrowly in the first year and then we lost 3-1 last year, so hopefully we can have a better result tomorrow.”


Looking at the Easter weekend…

“If you pick up six points then unbelievable, it’s fantastic, I’ve done it as a player and as a manager.

“It’s important you look at the first one and concentrate on that one. We’re focused on Swansea and then attentions will turn to Watford on the way back.

“It’s going to be a busy weekend, but hopefully it’s going to be a good weekend.”


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The open training session earlier this week…

“Monday at the stadium with the JSBs and sponsors was really good and worthwhile and always is anyway, even more so this week because it helped get the Stoke result out the system.

“The supporters were brilliant, and the kids were great and they’re going to grow into the fans of the future.

“There’s over 3,000 members and it’s growing all the time and a lot of time and effort goes into that and we should support that, and we do as much as we can and it’s brilliant.

“It was perfect, and it was the perfect day. The fact we had lost, and they were there with that unconditional support is incredible. They love the players, and they have a real affinity with them and the players respond in kind.”


Points target from now until the end of the season…

“To get anywhere near we need two points a game, we need around 72/73 points, and it remains to be seen because someone could pick a load more wins than form suggests.

“This weekend could be one where you start to rule in or rule out teams. We will see where we’re at, at the end of this weekend and the fact we’re playing at the end of the season looking at the right end of the table is progress, regardless of what happens, it won’t be for the want of trying."

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