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Robins praises Coventry players after victory over Bristol Rovers in FA Cup

Mark Robins hailed his “outstanding” Coventry side as they knocked Bristol Rovers out of the FA Cup to set up a fourth round tie at home to landlords Birmingham.

A brace from Maxime Biamou and a Josh Pask goal gave the home side a comfortable victory.

Robins said: “We were good, really good. The game was tough. They are competitors, they get their foot in, challenge and compete.

“We played really well, moved the ball quickly, and got our noses in front early.

“It was a zippy surface because of the rain, but we looked in decent shape, Pasky’s goal was outstanding. We kept at it, defensively we were OK. And in the second half we got better. But
we were outstanding – really good performance.”

Coventry took the lead after just four minutes when Biamou got onto the end of a perfectly weighted Callum O’Hare through ball, the French striker shooting into the bottom corner past Jordi Van Stappershoef.

Jonson Clarke-Harris threatened to equalise for the away side after 23 minutes, but his powerful header from a Luke Leahy cross crashed into Coventry’s crossbar.

Coventry doubled their lead after 51 minutes when the impressive O’Hare again sliced open the Bristol Rovers defence. This time his through ball found Pask who burst onto it to slot home on his debut.

A clever low corner found found Liam Walsh unmarked in the opposition box after 56 minutes. He had enough time to pick a pass, and his drilled ball allowed Biamou to bag his second, the striker turning the ball in from close range.

Rovers coach Kevin Maher bemoaned his side’s injury list which meant several important players were absent.

He said: “It was a difficult night. It was culmination of a lot of stuff – the games we’ve played, and conceding early doesn’t help as your game plan goes out the window.

“We had a plan to press higher up, it worked OK at times and we nicked the ball but you can see they made changes and we can’t do that.

“We got what we got and we’re trying to make the best of the players we have but it looked flat and it probably show’s where we’re at at the moment.

“We looked low on confidence and the fatigue factor, we’ve got a lot of big players out so it’s been difficult.

“Disappointed with what tonight brought but what I will say is that they kept going, worked hard and never gave up, so there is that.

“Sometimes it takes a fluke goal to give you that spark, but I’ve said to the players they have to stick together, they are the only ones that can get them out of this hole.”