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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Mark Robins on Play-Off Final defeat to Luton Town

Sky Blues boss and cruel Play-Off Final loss...

27 May 2023

Interviews

INTERVIEW: Mark Robins on Play-Off Final defeat to Luton Town

Sky Blues boss and cruel Play-Off Final loss...

27 May 2023

Sky Blues boss Mark Robins reflected on the penalty defeat against Luton Town in the SkyBet Championship Play-Off Final.

The Hatters took the lead through Jordan Clark but the Sky Blues fought back through Gustavo Hamer to level the game.

Neither side was able to find a winner in regulation or extra-time as City lost out in sudden death on penalties.

Speaking to the media after the game, Robins told the media:

On the game against Luton Town…

“I’m disappointed and there’s definitely some pain there, but I said to the players, once the pain subsides, you’ve got to use it as fuel to come back stronger and to understand and to know now what it feels to lose a final like that.

“It was a very tight game, second half I thought we were much better and when we got back into it, it looked like there was only going to be one winner.

“But then Gustavo [Hamer] got injured and we had to take him off and that swung the impetus back to them.

“Having said that, I tried to win the game in extra time by bringing Kasey [Palmer] on, knowing that I would have to bring him off again because he hasn’t got the legs, but he might do something in the game, something out of the ordinary to open them up and find a bit of space to put the ball in the net, and that unfortunately didn’t happen.

“Josh Eccles came on second half and Callum Doyle had to come off. I wanted to bring Josh Wilson-Esbrand on but I ran out of changes at that moment.

“[Jonathan] Panzo came on and the ball went in the back of the net but thankfully that was an infringement and we had a lifeline thrown at us and you think it could be your day.

“The penalties that were taken outstandingly and then, unfortunately, somebody has to miss and it was Fanky [Dabo] today. 

“He’s distraught, every one of them that stepped up, especially down the Luton end with their fans, were so brave.

“The bravery, courage and quality they showed was outstanding, the support was brilliant.

“With them not missing it kept us under pressing and in the end that is what told on us.

“Fair play to Luton and good luck to them in the future.”

On the second-half performance…

“I think the turning point was the second half when we managed to get Viktor [Gyökeres] some support.

“We were shoeing it forward without any quality and it was bouncing back to them.

“They were putting the ball in with quality but I think we coped well with that and we worked into the game and got on top and they were rocking.

“But then Gus landed on his ankle and had to come off, and that was a turning point.”

On the emotions of the day…

“The season has been a phenomenal season.

“It’s a bit raw at the moment and I’m disappointed for the supporters because we were really trying to give them that.

“It would’ve been delirium in Coventry had we managed to see it through and we were literally a couple of kicks away from returning to the Premier League.

“We are now back to the reality that we will preparing for another season in the Championship, one of the toughest divisions to get out of.

“To be able to say we were a breath away from returning to the Premier League is an incredible feat, we’ve got to be incredibly proud.”


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