‘They are fighting for their lives, their club and the manager’ – Coventry boss Robins on ‘tough game’ against Ipswich

Coventry City manager Mark Robins. Picture: PA SPORT

Coventry City manager Mark Robins. Picture: PA SPORT - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Coventry City boss Mark Robins says Ipswich Town’s current woes are ‘echoes of what we have been through’ following his side’s 1-0 win at Portman Road.

The Sky Blues have gone five points clear at the top after extending their unbeaten League One table run to 14 games, while Ipswich - who occupied top spot as recently as January 25 - have slipped to 10th following seven defeats in nine.

"It was a tough game; a really tough game," said Robins. "I thought we started the game brilliantly, and started the game much better than them. We kept the ball really well and the goal was magnificent, the way that they got through and the way that they passed it.

"It was a great through ball from Liam Walsh, and the way that Matty (Godden) moved his feet to just give himself the time to finish was outstanding. It was above the level and I thought Matty was really good.

"He's full of confidence and we needed that start because the way we finished the game was bitty and scrappy, and we didn't keep the ball.

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"I thought we gave them opportunities and they are tough to play against because they are fighting for their lives, their club and the manager. It's a big club is this and it's difficult."

Robins, who guided the former top-flight stalwarts to League Two promotion in 2018 and has had to deal with protests against the club's owners over a move out of the Ricoh Arena, added: "We know ourselves that when you come up against a bit of adversity it is tough. It's echoes of what we have been through, so it was a tough game and thankfully we managed to get a clean sheet, which was outstanding, and the goal was good enough to win it. So I'm thankful."

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He continued: "We have had some illness through the week. Walshy didn't train for two days and you could see it because I thought we were flat. The game became flat and I think the journey took it out of our legs and thankfully we can give them a breather ahead of next week.

"But we also need to work because we have got 10 games left and we need to be better than that. We have to be better against the teams we have coming up.

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"It's been a brilliant three game block, two games into a four game block actually, so what can we do? Can we keep going and keep our focus and learn?

"We just spoke in the dressing room about learning and keep learning because no-one has cracked anything yet. We have to keep in the moment and keep playing.

"I just thought it was one of those games where you're desperately trying to get the points and the lack of quality reflected it, apart from the first 20 minutes, which were brilliant.

"We controlled things really well and got the goal but then had something to lose and hold on to.

"I thought we defended pretty well, although I thought we made some poor mistakes and poor decisions. But ultimately it was good enough to get the three points and at this stage of the season that's what you are looking for.

"I thought we were lucky at times but I will take that all day long."

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