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Mark Robins hails “outstanding” defensive effort as Coventry edge Cardiff

Coventry City v Cardiff City – Sky Bet Championship – Coventry Building Society Arena
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Manager Mark Robins was pleased with the way 10-man Coventry handled Cardiff after they moved just one point off the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 1-0 win at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Viktor Gyokeres’ 15th-minute strike proved the difference after he latched onto Callum O’Hare’s flick and curled past Dillon Phillips in the Cardiff goal with defenders bearing down on him.

Fankaty Dabo was shown the first red card of his career as the clock hit 90 for a foul on Marlon Pack but Coventry held on.

Robins said: “First and foremost, a really good performance. You know what is coming and you have to deal with it and it is really difficult to deal with.

“They make it so difficult for you defensively and to try and keep them out is a really tough task so to keep a clean sheet is outstanding.

“The goal we created and Viktor Gyokeres took was outstanding and, on the back of that, the way we tried to play, and continued to play, was good.

“The movement, the way we moved the ball, the vision, the awareness, and the passing, was outstanding.

“The only blight was the sending off at the end. I’m gutted for him because he is so het up in trying to see the game out and going to get a tackle in.”

The Sky Blues posed a threat throughout the game, with Gustavo Hamer firing two early warning shots before Gyokeres’ strike.

O’Hare forced a good block from the Cardiff defence while Dom Hyam should have doubled the lead when he met Martyn Waghorn’s cross.

The Welsh side had headed chances of their own to equalise through James Collins and Joel Bagan before Dabo was shown the first red card of his career.

Coventry’s victory made it four wins from four on home soil since returning to the city after a two-year exodus to Birmingham’s St Andrew’s stadium.

Cardiff boss Mick McCarthy said: “Disappointing result, disappointing performance. They were the better side and deserved to win.

“All I would say about our side is they stuck at it and we had our chance, they had more than us, we had our chance near the end, a couple of them, but we get beat.

“There was some really good defending by the back three there to stop them getting another goal so they deserved to win and there’s no doubt in my mind about it.”

McCarthy made two half-time substitutions to no avail as Coventry ran out deserved winners.

He added: “They had three in midfield, they were causing us problems with that so I wanted to match them up with [Sam] Bowen and put two strikers on as well.

“It worked to a point with them in midfield but we didn’t really get too many chances.”