COVENTRY City battle it out with fellow promoted side Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday as the Sky Blues go in search of climbing into the top half of the table.
Mark Robins’ side head into their League One encounter on the back of Tuesday night’s penalty shoot-out victory over Forest Green Rovers in the Football League Trophy.
In a side which featured three debuts, and a first start for Morgan Williams, the manager was impressed with his team’s performance.
After Jordy Hiwula’s early opener, his first goal for the club, City seemed to dominate proceedings in the first-half but they couldn’t build on their advantage.
Isaac Pearce levelled for Forest Green in the 69th minute to force a penalty shoot-out where the Sky Blues prevailed 4-2.
“We are using this competition to get game time for players that haven’t been starting regularly and also giving the young players a taste of first team action, and we finished roughly with an u23s side,” said Robins.
“Jack Burroughs gets a game, Jak Hickman starts the game in the first half and works his socks off, Brandon Mason comes back into it and gets just under an hour.
“We had some decent possession, but what happened then was because they were popping the ball around, we had to just drop back and give up a little bit of ground.
“When you say that what you’re saying is just try to buy yourself a bit of time and then you can put the pressure on – but what we didn’t manage to do is the second bit.
“We allowed them too much time on the ball and too much of the ball.”
Despite being denied a win, City can still progress from their group if Arsenal U21s win their game against Forest Green and the Sky Blues win away at Cheltenham.
And Robins is hoping his side can go further in the competition as he looks to continue to inject some confidence into some of the younger players within his squad.
“It was a good game, in terms of being good experience for the younger players, and good for us in terms of using the competition for what we needed to up to now,” he added.
City’s penalty shoot-out success followed Saturday’s dramatic 2-1 league victory over Charlton Athletic.
Amadou Bakayoko was instrumental in the Sky Blues’ fight back as he scored twice late in the game to pinch all three points from the hands of Charlton who had taken the lead in first half stoppage time from a Lyle Taylor penalty.
Robins indicated his squad was on the right track but stressed they should not get carried away with the result.
“This is one step. To come here and win the game against Charlton is a big step forward, but by no means did we run away with it,” he said.
“You could say it was a bit of a smash and grab, and I will take that because we stayed in the game.
“But we have still got work to do with them to make it more of a regular occurrence to get those sorts of performances from people.”