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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins gives his thoughts on first leg against Middlesbrough

The manager gave his thoughts after the final whistle...

14 May 2023


INTERVIEW: Mark Robins gives his thoughts on first leg against Middlesbrough

The manager gave his thoughts after the final whistle...

14 May 2023

Mark Robins shared their thoughts following the 0-0 draw at home to Middlesbrough in the first leg of Coventry’s Championship play-off semi-final.

City and Boro were unable to make the breakthrough in the game, as both sides battled to get a foot hold in the tie.

The semi-final is now level heading to the Riverside on Wednesday night and Robins gave his thoughts on Sunday’s tie and thoughts on the second leg.


Reflecting on the game…

“There was very little to choose between the two sides in terms of chances created. I thought they had the two best chances through Chuba Akpom, the goalkeeper made a good save for the first and second, he flashed wide of the post. Other than that I do not have that much to talk about.

“We are playing against a really good side, and it is always frustrating out of possession. If we open up too much, they have players that will hurt us.

“We need to respect teams, but they also need to respect us, and they did. I think we respected them so much so that we did not play or get our shots off, especially in the first half.

“There was a 15/20-minute period in the second half when we looked like we could try and create a chance and hurt them.”


Chances created…

“I am disappointed in terms of the chances created looking at it from both teams, but the energy we used in that game was phenomenal.

“There was so much hard work put into it. They have got a really strong squad and their bench was stronger today, potentially even stronger on Wednesday. But we are right in there with a chance, so we need to go up there and give it our best shot against a really good side.”


Getting into the top six…

“Again, we are in a position where we have absolutely nothing to lose, everything shifts onto them because they are now expected to win this tie.

“Good luck to them, but we will turn up and give everything to try and edge out an advantage on the night.

“We are not expected to go up, and rightly so. We were in the position where we had to get in the play-offs on the final day, along with Sunderland.

“Sunderland were good yesterday and taken an advantage down to Luton, we are level going up to Middlesbrough. So, there is all to play for both teams and it is still finely poised. Let’s see how we go.”


If you cannot win, do not lose…

“That is exactly what you look for, but it is what we got and we had to work really hard for that. We tried to create chances but we did not have that cutting edge, the ball did not fall for us cleanly enough and they threw bodies in the way.

“When we did get a shot we fell down, or they blocked it, or the referee blew for a foul. It was just a difficult game in the penalty areas for both teams, but that just shows how hard you have to work if you want a chance.

“Wednesday there obviously has to be a winner and I really hope we get the right side of it. Its tough, there is no doubt, we all know that.”

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Looking ahead to Wednesday…

“For me, it is all about the recovery now. Hopefully the boys get good night’s sleep tonight and we go again.

“We look forward to that game on Wednesday, the big thing is we are right in there, still fighting.

“It is a quick turnaround but I will look at what we need to do tomorrow. I will have a chat with the physios. Fundamentally, it is all about the recovery.”


Tyler Walker’s absence…

“He got injured on Friday unfortunately and the scans were inconclusive so I have no more information. He might be okay but until we get him rescanned, I do not know.”


The Sky Blue Army…

“It would have been even louder if we had a shot on target, god forbid a goal but it was incredible. The players thrive of it, it gives them the energy and it is exactly what we need.

“It was warm today as well and it was hard in that heat. The fact that the supporters were right behind them was key to everything that we do really.”


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