Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Coventry’s Mark Robins feels pressure is on Middlesbrough in play-off second leg

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 May 2023


Coventry boss Mark Robins moved to pile the pressure on Middlesbrough ahead of their crunch play-off semi-final second leg.

The Sky Blues go to the Riverside on Wednesday locked at 0-0 from Sunday’s first leg.

Boro finished fourth in the Championship, five points and a place ahead of Coventry, and at the Riverside Robins feels Michael Carrick’s side hold the advantage.

He said: “They’re the favourites to go through so the pressure is on them. There’s no doubt about it. We’ll go out there and really give a good account of ourselves.

“For us, it’s about our preparation and what we can do. The betting companies have made them favourites to win promotion. So, by definition, that makes us least favourites so it is what it is. We just go and deal with what we’ve got in front of us.”

Coventry were not expected to make the play-offs this season, especially after playing seven of their first nine games away from home following the Rugby Sevens at the Commonwealth Games destroying the CBS Arena pitch.

Robins recognises their progress this term but still wants the glory at the end.

“It’s not really a great time to reflect because that time will be whenever this season comes to an end and we can sit back and have a look,” said the manager, who could be without Gustavo Hamer after he suffered a knee injury in the first leg.

“I say sit back, we’re not because we’ve got a busy period of recruitment coming up.

“Regardless of anything, I was asked at the start this season what success would look like and for us, really, you talk about finishing in the Championship, whatever happens.

“If you’re in the Championship it always gives you a chance of doing what we’ve done so far this season.

“Our season was blighted at the start with well-known factors and one of our players (Dominic Hyam to Blackburn) was sold early on which made things very difficult for us.

“Regardless of what happened, the players have responded unbelievably well to get us to this point so they’ve earned the right to go head-to-head against Middlesbrough.

“Whatever happens, yes, it’s been a brilliant progression for us but ultimately you want to try and come out successfully at the other end.”


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