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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins looks back at Sunderland draw, tactical battle and defensive display

Robins gave his reaction...

26 August 2023


INTERVIEW: Mark Robins looks back at Sunderland draw, tactical battle and defensive display

Robins gave his reaction...

26 August 2023

Mark Robins reflected on, what he described as a ‘tactical battle’ against Sunderland at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

City were held to a goalless draw against the Black Cats, despite having the better of the chances in the Championship clash.

Speaking after the final whistle, Robins looked back on the point, a clean sheet at home and the home debut of Yasin Ayari.


Reflecting on the draw…

“It was two good teams trying to win a game and I think that the way that the game is now when you're playing against a team it becomes a tactical battle and it's like a game of chess.

“So do you get picked off, do you come out, when are you going to be aggressive and that's what we want to try and do but ultimately it became stretch and open in the second half and it was like you will attack when we gave the ball away sort of infrequently, I think we kept it as well as we possibly could do.

“They dropped behind the ball, and they made things difficult, denied space where they could do and then we've got to be better in that final third.

“I thought we were pretty good. I thought we got through them okay and we got into decent positions and then just fell down on the end bit, but they’ll probably be saying similar things.

“They're playing a counter-attack, they'll drop behind it and they believe some players dangerous players in space and then if you're not paying any attention because you can ball watch if you're not paying attention, and they turn you over and they get in, you're in trouble, they are quick.”


Milan against Jack Clarke…

“Milan has defended brilliantly against Jack Clarke, who's one of the better wingers in the division and he's got loads of ability.

“I thought he defended really well. I think Jay in and out of possession was good today. We're still looking for more from them but that will come.

“Across the back line we threw our bodies in front of the ball and Fadz has taken hit after hit, and we kept the clean sheet and then Ben dealt with things when he needed to.”


Haji Wright and Yasin Ayari’s introduction…

“We made changes and brought Haji and Yasin on and you sort of get a glimpse of what Yasin can be and what he can bring.

“We need him to not walk as much as he did do because when you come on, you've got to make that difference with your energy because that's why you're on the field as well as the quality that you've got.

“He's gone through, and he's gone directly at his man and picked the perfect pass for Haji and he’s opened his body up and you expect him to just bury it with his ability into the far corner and he just didn't make it and the ‘keeper has made the save and the chance went.


Chances elsewhere…

“We had numerous chances throughout the game. Matty Godden’s had a couple but really difficult chances.

“Ellis Simms had a really big chance as well at the end of the first half when it might just be that it needs that extra touch to go on and finish.


Another point on the board…

“I thought there was some really good play, but two really good teams cancel each other out in the end, and we just couldn't find that winner.

“Both teams were trying to win it but it became difficult then to make any more changes because you've got Jack Clarke still full of running, because he doesn't come back all the way and Milan was dealing with it and he needed to be on his on his best game so to deal with that because he kept getting the ball.

“On the other side of it, If you can't win it, don't lose it and that's what happened. It’s a clean sheet and we have to say that every time we get to a point. It's generally a good point."



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