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Nothing to lose: Mark Robins urges Coventry to make final push for play-offs

Fulham v Coventry City – Sky Bet Championship – Craven Cottage
(Image credit: John Walton)

Coventry manager Mark Robins has called for his players to feed on the pressure as they cut the gap to the Championship play-offs to only three points after beating Birmingham 4-2 at St Andrew’s.

Ben Sheaf’s first goals for the club levelled the scoring for Coventry after Kristian Pedersen and Gary Gardner had stormed Birmingham ahead inside the first 40 minutes.

Having both scored in last week’s victory over Fulham, Michael Rose and Callum O’Hare completed the turnaround for the Sky Blues to keep their play-off dreams alive.

Following the victory, Robins discussed his side’s chances of finishing in the top six with only four games remaining.

“We’ve got a situation now where nobody believes outside of the club that we can get near it (the play-offs),” Robins said.

“There are teams that are in better positions than us but we’ve got four games to go and we’re in with a sniff. That’s the biggest thing for me. In terms of what we’ve been able to achieve in five years is nothing short of outstanding.

“That’s the pressure that you want and at some point you have to have that pressure that makes you feel alive. We’ve got nothing to lose so let’s have a go.”

Robins also praised his players for their attitude and expressed his gratitude at the rapport between the squad and the supporters.

“You see the support and they’re delirious today,” he said.

“In certain aspects of the game we were really good. We weren’t at our best by any stretch of the imagination and you’ve got to give Birmingham credit for that.

“We kept going and that’s the characteristic of this team this season. That was there for everyone to see and the supporters love that. You can see the rapport and that’s something that’s really special and you don’t always see that.”

Birmingham head coach Lee Bowyer believes his players were too relaxed in their performance and criticised the defending in the defeat.

“We started really well. We were the better side and we were cruising,” he said.

“We think the game has become too easy and let them back in. We needed to manage the game better towards the end of the first half but we didn’t. Going in at half-time 2-2 was tough to take.

“I put it down to being too soft. You can’t concede three set-pieces in one game. That’s not good enough. You’ve got to take pride in keeping the ball out of your net, it’s quite simple really. For some reason today, we were soft and that’s not like us.”

However, Bowyer believed his side were the better of the two on the day and vented his frustration at the scoreline.

“We had chances. I don’t think there was much in the game,” he said.

“You look at the scoreline and think we took a hiding, but it wasn’t like that. Up until 40 minutes we were in full control of the game.

“In the second half, it was quite even and we weren’t quite in it, but the scoreline looks a lot worse than the performance.

“Today I thought we were the better side, but they’ve got the three points and we have none. Just too soft and there’s no excuse for that.”

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