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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins looks ahead to Middlesbrough and evaluates the process this season

11 August 2023


INTERVIEW: Mark Robins looks ahead to Middlesbrough and evaluates the process this season

11 August 2023

Sky Blues boss Mark Robins is looking forward to a ‘brilliant atmosphere’ which is set to take place this weekend at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

City entertain Middlesbrough in the first home fixture of the season, with a meeting against Michael Carrick’s side being a fourth in six competitive fixtures.

Robins looked ahead to the fixture, gave a fitness update on Bobby Thomas, Jamie Allen and Callum O’Hare, as well as evaluating the situation the team is in and the process that is being undertaken.


Excitement for the first home fixture…

“Yeah, always is first game and we look forward to it. I think it will be brilliant atmosphere. I think a really good game.

“They've obviously changed a bit from last year with loan players going back and what have you and it’s a similar boat to us.

“We've got, we've got, and it’s been a big turnover as well and a new influx of new players which obviously takes time to get going so yeah, from our perspective is really exciting.

“The new pitch is in; the new dressing rooms and it looks fantastic and we're just looking forward to getting back in front of our home support.”


Needing time…

“Time that's exactly what we need. In terms of what happened last season people might think that progression this year is obviously promotion.

“It's not obvious and obviously what is obvious is we've sold the best striker in the division last year.

“What we've done is we've been able to add to that and thanks to Doug he's investing heavily and letting us get on with what we need to do to try and bring in new players and obviously what goes on with that, and I keep using the word obviously because it's obvious to me, it might not be obvious to everybody else, that this is the start of something not a continuation of something and when you have that much change it'd be easy to keep everything the same.

“It isn't easy to keep everything the same and when something fundamental changes like selling the best striker in the division, you've got to try and then look at different ways of doing things and we have to add the quality, which we have done really and we’re really happy with what we're doing, but that's going to take time and that's the commodity that managers are asking for all the time.

“That's the commodity that we'll need again because that's what happens.


Building a new side…

“From my point of view, Adi and I were speaking this morning and this is probably about four teams that we've built since we've been here and this is the start of another process, but we've got some real quality in there and we just need the patience or the support to come on that journey again with us.

“I think that that's something that's important. The players need that, and our supporters are brilliant because they understand it over time.

“They've understood what's happened and I just want to make sure that that the players get a fair crack of the whip in terms of the time the patience and the understanding around what's going on what's happening and what needs to take place now because the work is the work and that's going to be the thing that takes us to the next level.

“Over 19,000 supporters have bought season tickets so they've bought into it.”


Understanding the process…

“For me it’s for everybody to understand where we are, and not to be well, we need to get promoted and if somebody says we need to get promoted, then they're mad, they're absolutely mad.

“If you do that, it goes totally wrong really quickly. People know me now, I’ve here for nearly seven years, people know me and they understand I do not make excuses or don't make excuses for anybody.

“And what I do is I give reasons for things and I try and give you a an understanding of what it is that we're doing and how we're doing it and what the processes are going to be to eventually get us there.

“I think anybody that that supported us over that time and obviously there are people supporting the club for a lot longer than I've been here and have an understanding of what's gone in the past and what's coming now.

“It's a really important part of our, of understanding what is happening and what's taking place.”


Looking ahead to Middlesbrough…

“Again, they've changed, they had players there last season that were on loan that have gone back. They've got some new players in the side.

“I think things change, they evolve, Michael Carrick, first and foremost is a brilliant person, but also he's done a great job whilst he's been in there and they were really magnanimous, really when we played them in the playoffs.

“It's a really tough experience for people, especially when you don't you're not successful. But they were really good, really good people and there'll be a tough nut to crack. There's no doubt about it.

“We're in a position where, as I explained that we are in transition ourselves and we are working towards being better than the other stuff. “


Bobby Thomas…

“I know that he's going to train today. But honestly, I need to have a look but hopefully he's going to be okay. Hopefully it'll be okay. If not, then I'll have to do something else.”


Callum O’Hare..

“He has an infectious personality. He is excited and he is bouncing around all over the place.

“He's doing what he's been told to do and is straight line running and he will get the sign off, I'm sure from the surgeon very, very shortly.

“I think then we can maybe push on I think that's what we're waiting for, just to get that that sort of confirmation that he can kick on now.”


Jamie Allen…

“Jamie Allen is still laid low. He can't join in and he's quite a way away from that, I think but he looks well and he's getting a little bit better.

“It takes time. When you've had the issues that he's had, it's really important that we don't rush to rush him. But again, he's still you know, undergoing some tests and investigations and trying to get to the bottom of it really.”


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