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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins on Bristol City draw and Jake Bidwell goal

The Sky Blues were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw...

1 January 2023

Sky Blues manager Mark Robins has given his assessment on his side's performance following their 1-1 draw with Bristol City.

Jake Bidwell grabbed his first Coventry City goal to give his side the lead before Antoine Semenyo leveled for the visitors.

Speaking to the assembled media at full time, Robins said:

On the performance against Bristol City...

“I thought we were the brighter team to start the game. We were coming up against a side that has got a really experienced and powerful front three, and they’ve got a little bit of quality sprinkled around the team.

"I think you could tell both sides were tired and up and down the games you can tell, it’s difficult, but what they’ve done is dug in, it was a basketball game without any end product, it was difficult.

“I thought we were the side that would go on and win it, in the last 15 minutes we were okay and they had the breakaway which was stopped on the line but other than that we’ve been okay without being scintillating or without lots of energy and I think that’s probably the main thing.

“Kasey [Palmer] started the game really brightly then faded but three games in a week after five weeks without a game is good and he’s got through and that's massive because he’s got some game time in his legs, Fabio [Tavares] the same, Martyn Waghorn and Todd [Kane] too, they all got time in their legs.

“Ben Wilson’s done what he’s had to do but he’s got to be calm and realise he’s in control of the ball when he’s got it, he’s got control of the tempo and he’s like a conductor but dropping the ball to your center-half is not what we’ve practiced and you can tell we haven’t trained for a little bit because it’s been turnaround and games so they need a breather now, a day or so."

On Fabio Tavares' contribution...

“I think Fabio [Tavares] coming on in this game gave us a different dimension and a little bit of energy and he had a couple of shots which was a novelty in this game. 

“To start a game at the moment is asking too much of him, he’s young and we don’t know what he’s going to be yet.

“Tactically he’s naive but he’s got loads of good qualities, he’s rapid-quick, got an eye for goal, a decent touch and an eye for things in the penalty area but he can also run away from people.

“I needed him to play close to Viktor because if we’re playing too wide apart then there’s no point, I may as well put another body in midfield, I thought his contribution was alright but what I don’t want to see him do is drop back into midfield to defend, we’ve got to defend from the front but not in midfield.

“He got into some good positions and one of his instructions was don’t come to feet, run off the back of players because that tends to make them drop the line which gives us space to play."

On the team selection...

“I think Ben [Sheaf] made some decisions that he wouldn’t normally make and he gave the ball away a little bit more and maybe it’s harsh but what I needed was an extra body up front.

"With the injuries we’ve got and Waggy playing up front it’s been difficult but we’ve coped with it okay and there are boys that have got minutes in their legs that haven’t previously and that gives them that experience and those minutes.

“It was the right thing to do in this game, you could see Viktor [Gyökeres] was out there and he’s tried and worked really hard but he’s come up against a resolute defence that has denied us space in the last two games.

“We’ve not been fluid and that’s because of the circumstances we’re in, we’ve not been able to change it sufficiently enough to be able to affect things today."

On Jake Bidwell's first goal for the Sky Blues...

“He scored for Swansea, so the surprise for me is that he hasn’t added more to it.

“The first one should’ve gone in but the keeper got to it and made a save but he was alert enough to get back up and guide it into the back of the net and he was in the position to score in between the goal posts.

“He was in the right place at the right time and we need more goals from other places, we can’t just rely on one person.

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