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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins looks ahead to Sunderland, discusses Ayari's arrival and provides squad fitness update

City take on the Black Cats at the CBS Arena...

25 August 2023

Mark Robins says he is 'excited' by the arrival of Yasin Ayari, following the midfielder completing a loan move from Brighton & Hove Albion.

The 19-year-old is the latest face to walk through the door at Coventry City and Robins is looking to add to that before the Transfer Window closes next week.

Before then, the Sky Blues entertain Sunderland at the Coventry Building Society Arena, as they look to build on victory last time out at home to Middlesbrough.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's clash, Robins provided an update on the fitness of Jamie Allen, Kasey Palmer and Milan van Ewijk, as well as previewing tomorrow's challenge.


Yasin Ayari’s arrival…

“He's a good player. He comes with a pedigree. He's played for Sweden and AIK in Sweden and has played a significant number of games actually for his age.

“He was signed by Brighton, and he’s played three appearances in the Premier League but he's an exciting young player and, he fits the bill in terms of, of what we're looking to do moving forward.

“I'm really pleased with the with the loan. Brighton have been really good and I'm excited. I think he's a really good player and I think he’s going to be really good for us. He just needs a period to settle in and then and then see where he gets to and how quickly he gets there.

“He is an attacking midfielder. There's no doubt and he's but he's got he's got different strings to his bow. So, we see him popping into positions to pick the ball up, but he'll also rotate in midfield which is important, and he's got the technical running and really high technical ability.

“He’s a young player and he's got to get up to speed with the Championship it’s his first experience of it and he's got a really high expectation, both of his self and of the loan which is which is great in itself.

“He just needs a little bit of patience to get there and trust us and just to knuckle down on work, like everybody else is not just here for him specifically, but I think that that's really important for everybody.”


Looking to recruit and players returning from injury…

“We're still trying to do some things and hopefully we can have some more news before the window shuts and we just inch our way along.

“It's been a different window again, it has been a different time, but exciting, nonetheless. it was slow to start with, we worked all the way through the summer to try and get things over the line, but it just didn't work that way.

“The fact that that we've got the players in that we've got, I'm delighted with, and we just got to add one or two more in terms of number and then once we get Jamie Allen and Callum O'Hare back and potentially Fabio Tavares coming back the squad looks a lot healthier in number.”

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Update on Jamie Allen training again…

“Jamie has been doing some individual bits he’s also joined in with some of the passing drills.

“His calf was tight yesterday, so he didn't do anything on the grass, but he did some work in the gym and that's the way it's going to be, I think for Jamie for a bit until he can get up to speed.

“With the enforce time he’s had out it’s suppressed his fitness and his notorious energy levels, but he will soon get those back, I'm sure.”


Coming up against Sunderland…

“We’re playing against a really good technical Sunderland team tomorrow and it will be a different challenge again, but it's one we're all looking forward to.

“The game tomorrow will be a good game I think and like I said before that they are a really technical team.

“Tony's teams are always like that, and the Coventry public know him really well and he does things in a certain way and demands things done a certain way and his teams generally play really exciting football or really technical football.

“They've got a young side or young squad and they've added to that again and that's the way Sunderland have operated and chosen to operate, and I think that that's something that Tony enjoys.

“I think it gives him that that energy. He loves working with young players and trying to improve them, like us and I'm looking forward to the game I think they're always good encounters.

“They're always tough games against Sunderland, everybody knows that. They're always well supported and there's always a good atmosphere in the stadium and tomorrow will be no different.”


Season Tickets sales and atmosphere at the Coventry Building Society Arena…

“Season tickets have gone unbelievably well, and I think that that's something that never ceases to amaze me, and we thank every one of them that has bought a season ticket and every one of them that's coming to watch I think.

“It makes for a special atmosphere anyway and I think tomorrow won't be any different. We all look forward to playing in the in the Arena and tomorrow will be no different.”

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Update on Kasey Palmer and Milan van Ewijk…

“Kasey’s back and has been training this week. So, he'll be involved in some capacity tomorrow.

“Milan trained this week without issue.”


Potentially adding more players before the window closes…

“I've got to be careful at times. It's about the right players and then obviously depending on the players you bring in depends on the number I'm going to bring in and it sounds daft, but it all makes sense.

“I'm looking for a certain position, then it means that I can move one or two bits and pieces around. You’ve got players that can play in certain positions and are comfortable in certain positions and If I can add in in a different area, then it means that you don't need to add as many potentially but really, I'm still looking for numbers, but I don't have to go three, four or five now.

“We just need probably a few, so let's see. I think we need to add the quality in the right areas and then the balance of the side should be right.”


Adding any more loans…

“Not particularly, we're looking to add our own players. We've got two loans in now and really that's what we'd sort of spoken about at the start maybe having one or two loans, but we've got quality loans in there.

“I'm still looking to add a midfield player, somebody who can maybe manage that transition, but maybe can do a few different roles within that.

“So that's something that I'm looking to do and we're looking to do, and we'll just get on with that and see if we can be successful in that aim in the next week or so.”


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