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Mark Robins frustrated and relieved as Coventry hold West Brom in goalless draw

West Bromwich Albion v Coventry City – Sky Bet Championship – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: Barrington Coombs)

Coventry manager Mark Robins expressed his frustration and relief after Ben Wilson’s last-gasp penalty save ensured his side earned a point in a goalless Championship draw at West Brom.

Wilson denied Karlan Grant from the spot in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage-time after substitute Callum Robinson was judged to have been fouled by Michael Rose.

But it looked an extremely soft decision and Robins was delighted that parity remained.

“My disappointment was the penalty was given in the first place,” said Robins. “No way on this planet was that a penalty but he (referee) couldn’t wait to give it.

“Ben made a brilliant save from a set-play against one of the biggest teams in this division then the penalty save was out of this world – top drawer.

“Not only that, but his distribution and general play was really good and gave us a decent platform to play.”

Coventry were the better team and had most of the chances.

But Robins wants to see more belief from his players to fashion a stronger play-off challenge next season after both teams’ hopes ended mathematically after this goalless draw.

Viktor Gyokeres, Jamie Allen twice, Ben Sheaf and Martyn Waghorn missed chances for the visitors, while West Brom’s Grant and Matt Clarke were guilty of wasting their best opportunities in open play.

“I thought we were really good value for a point and we could have nicked something with a bit more belief,” added Robins.

“If that belief shifts in one or two individuals in the team then we will score more goals and create more chances.

“Then we can clearly move forward a little bit more.

“We play some brilliant football at times and cut teams open at times and either don’t see the pass or the execution of the pass quickly enough to get through.

“When you’re playing against teams like this who were in the Premier League last season, they’ve got Premier League quality.

“And when you’ve got a powerhouse in the air like Andy Carroll, you’re always under pressure and you’ve got to try to stop crosses.

“So we worked really hard to do that and when the ball came in, we dealt with that and got heads on it and cleared it pretty well and broke from those positions well too.”

Albion manager Steve Bruce promised to make major changes to his squad after their promotion challenge fizzled out months ago, although it was only mathematically confirmed – after this match – that a top-six finish was beyond them.

“There is a long summer ahead. We need a freshness through the club in terms of the players we want to bring in,” said Bruce, a former team-mate of opposite number Robins at Manchester United.

“And we’re on with it. It will be a new-look team.

“That is what we have to try to achieve. We are not going to accept being mid-table.

“There are a lot of players that have been here for a long time and I think the supporters want to see some new faces more than anything.

“We’ve got to be professional in our last two games and maybe we’ll look at the younger element.

“But we still want to finish the season respectfully and in a respectable position.”

As for the penalty, Bruce said: “It was a penalty because he gave it. But it didn’t make any difference.

“It looked a bit soft. But I’ve not seen it again.”

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