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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Mark Robins looks ahead to Stoke and provides squad update

31 March 2023

Interviews

INTERVIEW: Mark Robins looks ahead to Stoke and provides squad update

31 March 2023

Mark Robins is looking forward to the resumption of football this weekend, as his side entertain Stoke City at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

City return to action off the back of victory last time out away at Bloomfield Road against Blackpool.

The international break saw several of the Sky Blues squad head out on international duty, whilst the rest of the squad returned this week for training leading into the clash with Stoke.

Speaking to the press ahead of this weekend, Robins provided an update on his squad, previewed the eight remaining games and reflected on the season so far…

 

The international break…

“The break has been long, and it seems like ages since we played last. We’ve had players out on international duty and they’ve come back in yesterday and today, so we’re 24 hours away now until the resumption of the season, with a difficult game against Stoke.

“The break is something we tried to utilize to give them the rest they need, but also the work that they need, so we’ve had a decent balance and we’re looking forward to the resumption now.

“The break is the break; we have to get on with it. From our point of view, we had to try and use it the best we can.

“We didn’t play last Saturday. I gave them time off last week and this week has been a normal work week and we come in now to do the final bits of preparation for tomorrow.”

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Eight games to go…

“There are eight games left. We’ve got everything to play for and we have Legends Day tomorrow at the stadium and I’m sure there will be a big following and a great atmosphere.

“It’s going to be really interesting to see how we deal with that and see how we can cope with the added expectation or excitement around where we are and what we can achieve this season.

“The players are in a really good place mentally and me and Adi spoke about it this week, they’re probably in the best place they’ve been in to date this season.”

 

Viktor returning to training…

“He’s a funny character. He has a good sense of humour and he’s full of a confidence.

“I watched his game back afterwards and I thought he played really well, and he got himself a goal and an assist.

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“He will be back in today and be just his normal self. He will prepare as he normally does. He doesn’t get overly excited or overly down. He gets frustrated from time to time, but overall, he will be pleased with his contribution.”

 

Praising the players for their efforts this season…

“Enormous credit should go to the players because they’ve done so well dealing with the adversity at the start of the season.

“We were bottom of the league for a long time, and we knew we were not deserving of being in that position and through no fault of their own we found ourselves in that position.

“We won our first game in October against Middlesbrough, so it was a really poor start because we were let down at the start of the season and we were all angry about that.

“But the mentality and determination to pick up the results we have done is testament to them as a group, so going into the last eight games it shouldn’t phase them.

“For me, it is going to be really interesting and exciting. We have to try and go for it in the right way. We have to go for wins, draws are no good. There might eight games left but there is still a long way to go.”

 

Facing Stoke tomorrow…

“We’re coming up against a strong Stoke team tomorrow. They’ve picked up. They’ve always had good players but the organization is there now to see.

“The quality has shone through, and they’ve had some really good results, so from our point of view we have to understand that and be able to cope with it and play our own game off the back of that.

“We expect a really good Stoke side that have been in good form and are in really good form.”

 

Liam Kelly and Jamie Allen update…

“They’re back on the grass and training and they’re a lot closer.

“If you have the majority of the players fit then that gives you a boost and it’s a feel good factor so hopefully we can remain like that for the last eight games.”

 

 


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