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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins on Birmingham clash, making changes and FA Youth Cup

City host Wayne Rooney's Birmingham tomorrow night...

7 December 2023


INTERVIEW: Mark Robins on Birmingham clash, making changes and FA Youth Cup

City host Wayne Rooney's Birmingham tomorrow night...

7 December 2023

The Sky Blues return to the Coventry Building Society Arena Friday night against Birmingham City and Mark Robins is looking forward to an 'interesting' game.

Last time out, City suffered defeat at Portman Road against Ipswich Town and Robins is looking to get back to winning ways against Birmingham.

The visitors arrive to Coventry with Wayne Rooney at the helm, with Robins coming up against the former Man Utd striker for the first time since his departure from Derby County.

The City boss also praised the Under-18s, who progressed to the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup last night.

Coming up against Birmingham City on Friday night…

“It’s always been decent games against Birmingham City our one time, landlord. They've always been tight. We had the cup games when we were in League One and we remember those the league games, especially last season, they were both very tight.

“I think it's going to be an interesting game. There's been a change, Wayne Rooney has gone in with John Eustace leaving and there is certainly an intent there from them to play a certain type of football.

“I think it is an interesting one, but also one we are looking forward to it, there's no doubt about it, under the lights, in front of the cameras and what's not to like.”


Wayne Rooney coming in at Birmingham…

“He's come in and in circumstances where the team's doing really well, and things just have changed slightly for them.

“Ultimately, when you're trying to sort of put in the philosophy of the board and the club and the way that they want to go about things, sometimes that has a little bit of an effect in a negative way before it starts to build but like I say, that's down to them.

“For us, it's about us and what we're doing and how we go about this game and on the back of the last time out.

“We want to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible. So, tough run of games coming up, there is no doubt this is one of those, but we're looking forward to it.”


Looking to get back to winning ways…

“You don't like losing games, so the quicker we can get back to winning ways the better. But we know that we've got the capability there and we’ve just got to go out and execute things and do things a little bit better.

“I think if we'd have added a little bit more in terms of a percentile if we were 5% 10% a little bit better, we'd have got something out of that game against Ipswich.

“We go back to the majority of games this season where I feel that we've been in most of those games.”


Making changes for games and in-game…

“We're not playing Championship Manager on a computer; we’re dealing with human beings and you're dealing with players that have got loads that mean that they're on the edge of something.

“Some might have been ill, some might have been carrying something, so it's not straightforward, but I'm not going to sit and tell you everything that for the opposition to pick through before a game, but we do everything to the best of our ability for the best outcomes we can possibly get, given the circumstances and that's how it is and that's how it will continue to be.

“Whilst we can look at things in the cold light of day in hindsight, it's fantastic I always have a set of circumstances that I've got to sift through and make something of and you're dealing with human beings that are obviously a different group that we've had previously and we're working our way through that together.

“Ultimately, we’ve just got to get on and try and turn the performances into more wins more often and that's what we aim to do all the time, but no, I think I can sit and beat myself up on certain things but not generally on team selection because it's done with those things that only we know inside the building are happening and only I know maybe the outcome of the likelihood of what's going to potentially happen, so there's so many things and so many variables that I've got to take into consideration when picking a team it's not that straightforward.”



Yasin Ayari’s loan so far…

“He is a really talented player as you've quite rightly outlined and sometimes it takes time for people and it’s his first loan.

“It takes time for people and it might be after Christmas that you see those signs but the players like Yasin always learn, they're always learning and he'll be learning about himself. “He's played different positions, what different opposition that we're playing against, present different problems and challenges.

“You don't just come into the game and do the same things each game, there are little differences to every game, and you'll be learning about that as well.

“So, there'll be a lot going through his head and he has to sort that out as well as asking the questions that he asks and the work that he's doing will help him in the long run.

“But again, he's a very young player and we're too quick to sort of jump on why he's not doing this, he's not doing that. I always say we don't sign finished articles we do not sign finished articles we have to develop them to that point.”


The Under-18s progressing in the FA Youth Cup…

“I think it's the first time for a while we've progressed through to the Fourth Round so it’s brilliant. It's fantastic for everybody involved.

“It's the premier competition the Youth Cup for that age I think it's a brilliant result, there's no doubt and it sounded like a really good game.

“Aidan Dausch scored a couple of goals and he's been performing pretty well, and he looks like an exciting talent and that's great.

It gets people talking about them and obviously feeling good about themselves and that's important as well and obviously seeing what else they're going to come up against at that age group.

“Hopefully we can have a decent run in there. I'm really pleased with them and rightly so and we’re very proud of the performance last night and proud of the lads for getting through.”




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