Sky Blues boss Mark Robins has celebrated how well his side managed with the quality of Sunderland after beating the Black Cats at the Coventry Building Society Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from Jamie Allen and Viktor Gyökeres were enough to secure the win, despite Amad Diallo's late consolation.
After the match, Robins gave his thoughts on the afternoon.
On the performance against Sunderland:
“It was a good game. We dealt with them well and waited for our opportunities but we turned the ball over too much to allow them their quality to have the ball and we spoke about that at half time.
“We had a few opportunities to score in the first half and we didn’t, but thankfully Jamie Allen got the first goal for us after a good release pass from Viktor [Gyökeres] and Jamie found the top of the net really nicely.
“1-0 up and you’re looking to eke out some more opportunities but also make sure we were calm on the ball, we spoke all week about how good we would have to be in possession and we weren’t good enough but we were good enough to open them up three or four times.
“The crowds were lively, both sets of supporters drove us on and when we were starting to tire a little bit, they found that extra little bit.
“Josh Wilson-Esbrand came on in a pretty unfamiliar position but we made sure we didn’t give them too many openings to hurt us and I thought the backline defended really well.
“The changes we made gave us another player alongside Viktor and the move for the second goal was outstanding, nothing more than he deserves after the work he’s put in today.
“Brooke Norton-Cuffy’s run was outstanding and the reverse pass from Gustavo [Hamer] to release Matty Godden was outstanding.
“The only downsides were Kasey coming off feeling his hamstring and the goal we conceded right at the death but we’ve won the game which is the most important thing and we’ve closed the gap on these to a point and it gets us closer to 50 points this season and that’s always our goal we need to achieve.
“Three wins on the bounce and the first time this season we’ve won a game and conceded, so even though it's disappointing to concede it’s a different stat and we’ll take them as they come.”
On the quality of Sunderland:
“They’re probably one of the better teams we’ve played here this season, they’ve got real quality and they make it really difficult for you by tripling up on the side of the pitch with players that can skip past you, so to defend and limit them to the chances they had, which were few, they hit the crossbar from a free-kick, other than that there wasn’t too much for them in the first half.
“You know you’re going to face pressure with the quality they’ve got. Patrick Roberts and the two midfield players they’ve got, Michut from PSG and Neil alongside him. The two centre-halves, one from Arsenal that they signed at the start of the season, and the two full-backs, one from West Ham, and they’re really good powerful players and they make it difficult for you.
“I was pleased that we kept our attacking threat and limited them to very few sightings of goal by defending very well, there was a couple of melees in the box and little fouls that the referee was giving, but the players have worked really well.
“The crowd was up for it and I think that was reflected in the game, nothing malicious, just two competitive teams having a go and thankfully we came out on top of a really difficult game, they’re one of the best teams that have been here this season.”
On Kasey Palmer and the injury latest of the squad:
“That’s the story of the season, not just for us but for everyone.
“You lose players and you’ve got to find another way but you don’t feel something for no reason. Maybe it’s fatigue, we’ve got to look at it and it’s very difficult because it’s a needle in a haystack situation where you look to see what the relevance of your injury is. Is it training, or the gym work, or the pitch we’ve got but ultimately the games are thick and fast as well and injuries are part and parcel of it.
“We’ve got players coming back but then you lose one or two and you’ve got to cope until you get them back.
“Ben Sheaf is on his way back, he’s starting to get on the road to recovery and hopefully we can get him back quickly but I didn’t have the bodies to change it in midfield as Liam Kelly had hurt his hamstring as well, albeit a low grade we think.”