Mark Robins makes Coventry City admission after ‘passive-aggressive’ game of two halves

CoventryLive’s coverage of the Coventry City match as Sky Blues manager Mark Robins discusses the team’s 2-1 loss at The Hawthorns

Mark Robins accepted responsibility for his Coventry City players’ “passive” first-half performance, which he attributed to their inability to adapt to a formation change.

The Sky Blues manager went to a 3-4-2-1 formation against West Bromwich Albion, and despite awful defending for both goals, his team was behind 1-0 at the half and 2-0 at the break. Nevertheless, City mounted a strong comeback in the second half, winning a goal thanks to a penalty awarded to Haji Wright, but they were unable to capitalise on several good opportunities at The Hawthorns.

“We were just too passive in the first half,” Robins said following the 2-1 Championship loss. “You have to try to play through those players if we choose a squad like the one we did in the first half. I believe we were too passive and unable to get out, which gave them too much possession of the ball. They have a solid roster of players with skill, intelligence, and experience, which is why they are in the playoffs.

We’ve had to make adjustments because of player losses, which has put us in a situation where there may be some disruption to the setup. Nevertheless, we still generated three excellent opportunities in the first half. We adopted a much more aggressive mentality in the second half.

You really can’t sit in and back five everyone unless you want to absorb the pressure, which is the opposite of what we want to do. However, in what was a meaningless first half of play, we didn’t move or perform that well enough either.

“We can take that into Tuesday (against Rotherham) and take encouragement from the second half,” Robins continued. I accept responsibility for the first half’s lacklustre performance since I set them up for it. We have successfully used it in the past. Although it didn’t work tonight, the second half had far better results.

We may therefore accept that second half and the significantly higher calibre of performance. It’s not easy to come here and play the way we did—it was a more aggressive game against a strong team, and even though we gave up the two goals, the second half was significantly better.


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