Coventry boss Mark Robins: Millwall made it tough for us

Coventry City manager Mark Robins has described their 2-1 win over Millwall yesterday as “tough” – with a second-half fightback needed to see off the South Londoners.

The Lions led at the interval through Romain Esse’s second goal of the season.

But the Sky Blues found a way back into the contest after the restart with Robins bringing on Ellis Simms and switching Haji Wright, who hit the post from close range in the first half, out to the left wing.

It was Wright who was fouled by Japhet Tanganga in the box and the club record signing converted past Matija Sarkic.

Then Callum O’Hare tore through the middle of the Millwall midfield and released Wright, who slotted a low finish beyond the Lions keeper – his double coming in the space of four minutes.

“It was tough,” Robins told Sky Sports. “The first half we looked a little bit off it but they are really aggressive with the way they come after you – and they have got some good players in the final third. We didn’t cope with it well enough, we didn’t move the ball well enough or find space well enough.

“We weren’t passing so then we were laboured on the ball which let the move. We couldn’t find space. They were holding a high line and the units were close together – they were compressing the space. But the space was in behind them and we didn’t use it often enough and we didn’t find that way until probably after an hour.

“The forward players in the team in the first half probably suffered a bit as a result of that. When the changes were made it changed the dynamics of things and we were able to get the ball and penetrate in more dangerous areas.

“Haji finished off two penalties, one of them a penalty. I think there was a bit of rock, paper, scissors with Callum O’Hare (over who took it) – I’m going to kill them. I hadn’t named a penalty taker but Haji took them all the time in Turkey and was really good, so I didn’t have an issue with it. Callum scored the last one. Ultimately it has gone in the back of the net and we don’t have to worry about that. I’ll be talking to them about it.

“That got us back level and then we looked like we could go on and win it, thankfully we did – another good move and great pass by Bobby Thomas. It split them a little bit. Callum has made the run and found some space and Haji found some space on the left – he finished it really, really well.

“It’s not easy to win the game against any team – particularly a team set up like Millwall.

“They are a strong group of players and have a lot of experience in their side, although some of it was on the bench and they brought that on in the second half later on.

“We started to move the ball better and move them out of their shape a little bit better. We got Haji into a good position to shoot and score. Torpy was unlucky – the keeper has made a save from a deflection. They are a threat, they moved (Jake) Cooper up into our defensive line (late on) and playing on that – it’s a really difficult tactic to mark against.

“Thankfully there was better communication and we dealt with it better in the second half.”


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