'They went long': Coventry City boss Mark Robins discusses Sunderland's tactics and his one big criticism

Mark Robins was pleased with how his Coventry City side saw off Sunderland’s aerial threat - but was disappointed that the Sky Blues couldn’t kill the game off.

Monday, 2nd March 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 2nd March 2020, 12:29 pm
Mark Robins says Sunderland 'went long' at Coventry City

Matt Godden’s strike after just 95 seconds sentenced the Black Cats to defeat, as despite seeing the majority of the ball they couldn’t find a way past a stubborn Coventry backline.

And that left Robins pleased, as he heaped praise on his defenders for dealing with Sunderland’s aerial bombardment – particularly in the second half.

“They went long, getting balls into Charlie Wyke, and had Kyle Lafferty to come on, and we dealt with everything,” said the Coventry chief.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The three centre-halves and the goalkeeper were magnificent. Sam McCallum and Franky Dabo have put an unbelievable shift in because of the amount of yardage they’ve had to cover.

“The same goes for their wing-backs because Luke O’Nien is like a battery, he just keeps going, so Sam had it all going on today, off the left-hand side he took Hume off and put Gooch out there which gave him a different problem.

“Then they’ve got height and they just piled everyone into the penalty area in the second-half.

“We spoke about trying to keep a higher line because I felt we were too deep in the first half towards the end and we got a little bit stretched at times in the second half, as the game does, and it became a bit like a basketball game.”

Robins’ big criticism, however, came as Coventry failed to add a second to seal a more comfortable margin of victory.

As Sunderland committed numbers forward in search of a leveller, the Sky Blues sensed an opportunity on the break – with Matt Godden spurning one golden opportunity.

That it was squandered left Robins disappointed.

“We really should have seen the game off,” he admitted.

“That’s the only criticism really, and that’s nit-picking really about how to see them off.”

“Having said that, we defended magnificently well and saw it out and got the much-needed, hard-worked, three points.”