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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins looks ahead to new season and Leicester City challenge

4 August 2023

Sky Blues boss Mark Robins is looking forward to returning to competitive action this weekend, when his side travel to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City.

The Sky Blues return to action off the back of an unbeaten pre-season, ending with a 2-1 win away at Exeter City.

Now, as the Championship season gets started, City travel to local rivals Leicester in their curtain raiser.

Speaking ahead of the opening fixture, Robins previewed the upcoming clash and the new season.

 

Pre-season coming to an end…

“It’s a means to an end and pre-season is always different and this one has been shorter.

“We have been working hard with the squad and trying to assemble the squad at the same time which means we have had less time to work with the group which isn’t ideal coming into a game like this.

“Playing a local derby in the first game is brilliant but we have to go out and use it to get up to speed a as a group together and we will continue our recruitment drive alongside it.”

 

Facing Leicester City…

“Leicester have just come down from the Premier League and there’s a lot of talk about with their new management going in and their squad changing round, not too drastically. They’ve added some good top quality players and It will be a tough game.

“The first game of the season is always difficult but it’s a brilliant one to play against a local rival, especially after they’ve just been relegated from the Premier League.

“This is a tough game for us there’s no doubt about it, but hopefully it will be a tough game for them as well.”

 

Progression…

“Upward trends are easy for the media to define. For us it’s about rebuilding and then trying to build again.

“You have to be really careful when you’ve got to a play-off final and just missed out. People look Progression will look at that and see promotions as next but that isn’t the case necessary.

“We all want promotion and all 24 teams in the league want promotion, some with better chances than others.

“Who would have given us a chance of getting into the play offs after the start we had last year, it can happen.

“For me it’s about developing and galvanizing a new group of players alongside the existing ones. We can play a good brand of football, but a winning brand takes time to get there.

“I’m looking at that and saying the development will come over time and that’s what generally happens but even more so this time because it’s taken a while to get the players together.

“The playing style and the way we play then moves into picking up points and if we can do that really quickly and mount a challenge then fine.”

 

New players gelling in…

“The level of training goes up because you bring in quality players and that level has gone up. Is it where it’s going to end up no, it will get better and better over time.

“Those new players have only been in for a few training sessions so it’s going to have an impact, but an impact as we go along.”

 

Injury update…

“Ben joined in the other day. He dipped in and then trained properly Friday.

“Jamie Allen has no time scale. It will just take time.”

 

Recruitment ahead of the weekend…

“What we’ve got now is what we’ve got now. We try and do things, but things are slow moving. My thoughts are working with the players we have in the building.

“It’s not about how many we want, it’s about who’s available. If there’s players that become available, then fine.

“The squad size at the moment is ok, we could do with a few more there’s no doubt because people get injuries and suspensions happen.

“Players will come back from injury, Callum O’Hare, Fabio Tavares and Jamie Allen will be around sooner rather than later.

“I want a squad that I can utilize and make sure we’re not over killing certain individuals.”


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