Skip to main content

Mark Robins salutes ‘phenomenal’ fightback from 10-man Coventry

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

Coventry boss Mark Robins hailed a “phenomenal performance” from his team as they twice came from behind with 10 men to beat Bristol City 3-2 .

Matty Godden scored a brace, including a 92nd-minute winner, after the Sky Blues had gone 1-0 and then 2-1 behind thanks to a Chris Martin penalty and an Andreas Weimann strike.

On-loan Chelsea left-back Ian Maatsen was sent off for hauling down Callum O’Dowda on the stroke of half-time which led to Martin’s opener, but Godden scored a penalty of his own just after the break.

Callum O’Hare’s first goal of the season made it 2-2 16 minutes from time before Godden completed the comeback at the death.

“It’s a phenomenal, phenomenal performance and a fantastic result at the end of it,” said Robins. “Second half we were talking about not being out of the game and making sure they knew we could win the game.

“They were in good spirits and they were really brave, stuck at it and grew into the game with quality.”

“The fact Liam Kelly came on shored us up and gave us scope to get Callum (O’Hare) and Ben (Sheaf) higher up the field. When it got back to 2-2 we said, ‘Don’t consolidate, let’s go for the jugular and see if we can get something’.”

After Maatsen’s first dismissal of his career Robins opted to take off a centre-back rather than a forward as the Sky Blues changed to a back four.

“Mats really got the wrong side and apparently he pulled him which meant he was going off, but if you tackle with your feet like they did then you don’t get sent off,” said Robins.

“It’s something he’s got to learn and we’ll be without him for a game or two now, which is the big disappointment of the first half on top of being a bit untidy.”

Coventry were the better side throughout the first half but failed to capitalise before Bristol City scored against the run of play and could have doubled the lead again before the break but for goalkeeper Simon Moore.

Robins added: ”I thought we were decent first half until the last 30 seconds of it. We were good and had control of the game, moving the ball really well at times, but we were scruffy and didn’t create a massive amount.”

Bristol City were without manager Nigel Pearson due to illness and slumped to their fifth defeat in six league games after conceding three goals away from home for the third time running.

Assistant Curtis Fleming said: “At the moment it’s a bit of anger, a bit staggered. Probably a little bit raw, so you’re trying to keep the emotions inside, but the emotions came out in the dressing room after the game.

“For me, it was disappointing because we were 2-1 up against 10. We can talk about age and inexperience but it doesn’t matter.

“We should have really enjoyed that today, been strong and confident, but we seemed to sit back 2-1 up against 10 men and they looked the better team.

“It’s something we need to keep working on – how much do we really want it? How much do we want to be professional footballers? Because this is what it is, this is the game – there is no hiding away from it.

“You have to walk out in front of 25,000 people and you’ve got to put your soul, head and body on the line.”