Middlesbrough: Verdict by Coventry manager Mark Robins on play-off win
The guest coach endured what felt like ‘the longest game of his career’ as Coventry kept a second consecutive clean sheet against Boro and scored the winner thanks to Gustavo Hamer’s second-half strike.
Robins tinkered with his approach after Sunday’s first leg, adding an extra midfielder who edged out Hayden Hackney, Alex Mowatt and Chuba Akpom in the central areas. That forced Boro to swerve and to Robins’ relief the Coventry coach felt the quality of the hosts on the flanks was “unusually poor”.
Robins said: “It had to be [a fantastic performance] because we played against a top team. I think this is the longest game of my career and it didn’t even go into overtime.
“It just shows the quality of the opponent and beating them over the two games, conceding two goals, is a testament to the lads. You could see how badly they wanted it, but you could also see how badly Middlesbrough wanted it.” The atmosphere was phenomenal and we had to deal with it, which I think we did quite well.
“We settled in well, started to find a rhythm and once we were calm and moving the ball we opened up a few opportunities to create chances, which we didn’t manage to do in the first game.”
“We just knew that if we could stay calm we would create some chances against them and luckily we did.”
“We did really well from the goalkeeper to the attack from the start. We have reduced them to a minimum. Luckily there was something missing of their quality as a winger tonight, which was unusual. Maybe that has something to do with the size of the game.”
“Our fans deserve this – from the start of the season to today it’s been incredible. Ever since we played Middlesbrough for the first time… I’m feeling a lot better now, that’s for sure!”
Match-winner Hamer was doubtful for the game after picking up an injury in the first leg.
Robins said: “Gustavo was brilliant. He had to have a big injection in his knee to even play the game after the first leg and I thought he was going to pass out!
“When Vik (Gyokeres) runs through and puts the ball past the goalkeeper and the ball falls to Gustavo, it was just a feeling of exhalation because he does that every day. Seeing it hit the net was special.”
“Then the rush inevitably came and we had to defend well to decide the game. They threw everything they could but we managed to win the game. A goal is phenomenal, especially here, phenomenal.”
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/23530500.middlesbrough-coventry-boss-mark-robins-verdict-play-off-win/?ref=rss Middlesbrough: Verdict by Coventry manager Mark Robins on play-off win