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Derby delighted with point against ‘outstanding’ Coventry side

Coventry City v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship – Coventry Building Society Arena
(Image credit: Barrington Coombs)

Derby assistant manager Liam Rosenior branded Coventry “the best team we’ve played this season” after the Rams became the first side to stop the Sky Blues winning at home in the Championship.

Graeme Shinnie’s rasping half-volley 12 minutes from time cancelled out the returning Matty Godden’s first-half penalty.

It was the Rams’ fourth draw on the bounce following their 12-point deduction which left them bottom of the Championship.

Rosenior, who was left in charge as manager Wayne Rooney was unable to attend the game due to illness, was delighted the visitors were able to match the in-form hosts.

“I think these are the best team we’ve played this season,” Rosenior said. “I think they’re outstanding at what they do and they’ve got an outstanding home record which gives them confidence.

“It was really important for Wayne and myself that we got in at 1-0 and then we can adjust and change things. The players have to believe in how good they are.

“Second half we stepped into the game and played 10-15 yards higher up the pitch and dominated.

“It’s something to build on, it shows the mentality and character of the group.

“Coventry are free-scoring, we made them score from a penalty not from open play, which shows our great defensive record.”

Rosenior said he was in regular contact with Rooney during the game.

“We had constant communication with Wayne,” added Rosenior. “He gives myself and the coaching team so much trust and he said he was there if we needed him, it was more on WhatsApp than anything else, just little pointers on the game.

“Me and Wayne are on the same page, we see the game the same way and it’s really helpful to have his input.”

Mark Robins admitted that he was happy with a point at the end of a week that included two trips to Lancashire to face Blackburn and Preston.

“I’ve got to be happy after the week we’ve had,” explained Robins. “The game always starts to throw up strange results after three-game weeks. It’s a point we’ve got to be happy with, they’ve had the extra day’s rest.

“The players deserve an awful amount of credit and off the back of that the energy that the crowd gives us, almost 24,000 in the stadium today which is phenomenal, we really tried to win it but in trying to win it you can be open and that almost happened a couple of times.

“First half we were in control of it and should have put the game to bed, we had the ball enough but there was a lack of real quality and we didn’t create enough.”

The Sky Blues boss made three changes for the game including dropping Tyler Walker, who had scored two in his previous two outings, in favour of Godden.

Robins added: “Second half was a little bit sloppy, mental tiredness or whatever, but we’ve got to be better than that.

“The players know there’s going to be times when they’re not going to start games but they’ve got to come on and be ready to make a difference but we didn’t get that today, we didn’t get enough from the two subs that I used.”

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