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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Mark Robins reflects on Luton draw and gives fitness updates

11 February 2023

Interviews

INTERVIEW: Mark Robins reflects on Luton draw and gives fitness updates

11 February 2023

City boss Mark Robins was pleased with his sides performance, but lamented the visitors opening goal of the game.

The Sky Blues fell behind in the opening minute of the game, after a ball into the box ended with Tom Lockyer poking home.

City responded well and drew level before the break through Matty Godden’s penalty, before almost winning it with Kasey Palmer’s strike which came back off the woodwork in the second half.

Robins’ side were reduced to ten men with five minutes left on the clock, when Josh Wilson-Esbrand was shown a second yellow card.

The Man City loanee will now miss Tuesday’s clash with Millwall, as will Ben Sheaf, who pulled up late in the warm-up, with Robins addressing his fitness…

 

Losing players to injury…

“We lost Ben Sheaf in the warm-up.

“He’s hurt his calf, I don’t know bad it is but it’s bad enough for him to be in a boot and it’s bad enough for him to be sore when he’s walking, so that’s not ideal.

“Jonathan Panzo was injured in training before the game, hurt his knee and Liam Kelly had a tight calf, so there’s three things.

“But, the one that hurts us is minutes before we’re due to go out we have to make lots of adjustments which could’ve contributed to the first goal.”

 

Josh Wilson-Esbrand’s red card…

“Josh Wilson-Esbrand comes in and looks for all intense and purposes really good and threatening going forward, all he did was jump out of one tackle and get a booking.

“It’s a case of he’s got to understand that he’s never going to get a shot off, so he has to deal with it and win the challenge and if he knows he’s on a booking ‘what is he doing’. He’s young and he needs to learn that.

“It’s annoying because we’ve lost Ben Sheaf to injury and Josh to suspension, and we can’t afford that. We’ve gone from having a strong bench again to now looking around having to check what the bodies are like in the coming days.”

 

Reflecting on the game…

“We hadn’t started and looked mixed up. The goal was poor, but the good thing is they showed character to get back into it.

“McFadzean back in the back five was really important and I think that’s the first time I’ve heard some voices from the back line which meant it gave Doyle and McNally plenty of understanding and confidence and comfort.

“Doyle came out and made a driving run inside and made a brilliant ball for Matty Godden’s run, about 50 yards and then we get the penalty form that and it was nothing short of what we deserved because I thought we were pretty good.

“It’s a tight game and they kept doing the same things and kept putting the ball in the air and keep fighting and keep running and the ball gets played up to the centra-half and if you get it wrong there are runner’s coming and they’re athletic so they can run away from you and they have some quality.”

 

Positives to take…

“It was a good performance after the initial goal and we have Eccles and McFadzean back and Godden comes back in and scores after being three months out.

“There was a lot of positives to take. I think the fact we haven’t caved after the first goal, because it was rubbish and I don’t want to make it a theme.”

 

Ben Wilson’s second half stop…

“Ben Wilson made an incredible save in the second half because it’s past him and he gets confident from that and he’s kept it out and we responded well from that.

“We looked dangerous and we looked like we could’ve hurt them, but we will take the point and move on, because they’re a good side.”

 

Luton not being reduced to ten men…

“I think we’ve had men sent off for that. I don’t know why he hasn’t been. We seemed to be penalized for things and they talk about when it’s an upper-body challenge it’s not a sending off and I don’t know why.

“It’s a foul, he’s denied a goal scoring opportunity, he’s nearly got his shirt off, which he had done all game and for me he has to go.

“Do I like seeing people get sent off, no, but I like to see things officiated right. Maybe someone will tell me wrong and reasons why, but the decision not to send him off shouldn’t matter anyway, we were pulling them apart all over the place, with good movement and passing, we just didn’t have enough opportunities to score.”


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