Coventry manager Mark Robins said he was “proud” as his Coventry side drew 0-0 with Birmingham in the FA Cup.
The fourth round tie at St Andrew’s was low on quality and chances but Aston Villa loanee Callum O’Hare should have snatched it for the Sky Blues – who hosted their landlords – at the end.
However, Robins was happy with his side’s effort against a team in the division above.
He said: “I’m really proud of them, we grew in confidence.
“We started off testing the waters, which is understandable against a team in the division above.
“It’s a strange set of circumstances. We controlled the game for large spells. It was a great effort in a strange atmosphere.
“We acquitted ourselves really well and can be really disappointed we didn’t progress with the chance we had at the end.
“Today’s game was a great effort, a decent performance against a good Championship team.”
Robins continued: “They’ve got some really good players who made us work hard.
“Chances were few and far between but seeing my team play a side from a higher division it was good to see how we’d fare.
“Callum O’Hare would have been dreaming about getting a winner here, the chance at the end was gilt-edged.
“We were really unfortunate not to win, we should be talking about his goal really – but we’re not.”
The two clubs worked together to allocate an equal number of tickets to both sets of fans, with 21,193 people eventually making the effort.
A scrappy contest came alive midway through the second half following the introductions of O’Hare and striker Max Biamou for the Sky Blues.
The first real opportunity of the game came on 77 minutes via the pair. O’Hare fed through Biamou, who had space to attempt a curling effort from just inside the 18-yard box – but Lee Camp was alert and able to make the save.
Then in the closing stages attacking midfielder O’Hare squandered a chance to put his team in the last 16.
A looped Amadou Bakayoko header across goal found the midfielder with an open goal but he failed to connect – much to the delight of the Birmingham fans.
Blues manager Pep Clotet was pleased with the tactical performance of his team.
He said: “We knew Coventry well, they play with confidence and we knew it would be a tough challenge. They score a lot of goals so we had to keep a clean sheet. We were very focused.
“Tactically we were very good, which was important but we lacked a little bit of sharpness which is why we didn’t win – same for Coventry.
“It was a very tactical game, but now we have another chance to get it right. I think the result is a fair one for all sides today.”
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