FOOTBALL - Robins: "It was like he was here watching." - The Coventry Observer

FOOTBALL - Robins: "It was like he was here watching."

Coventry Editorial 3rd Oct, 2021   0

COVENTRY City boss Mark Robins felt it was a “fitting” performance after the Sky Blues dismantled Fulham 4-1 on the club’s annual Jimmy Hill Day.

The Sky Blues produced a mesmerising second-half performance – scoring four goals in the space of just 25 minutes – a display Hill would no doubt have been proud of.

First, Viktor Gyokeres pulled City level with a simple finish on 47 minutes before Matty Godden’s penalty turned the game on its head just four minutes later.

Ian Maatsen then struck his first Sky Blues goal on 61 minutes before Gyokeres completed the rout 20 minutes from time with his ninth goal in just 11 games.

That came after Kyle McFadzean’s own goal put Fulham ahead on 18 minutes only for City to complete a sensational second-half comeback that stunned the visitors.

Manager Robins was delighted to secure the three points on a day when both City and Fulham paid tribute to one of the sport’s pioneers.

Robins said: “All of the goals were outstanding, the mentality was very good, it was a fitting day.

“It was Jimmy Hill day, it was almost like he was here watching, it was a fitting day and a fitting result.

“We responded really well and did a really good job heading into an international break.”

Victory for City marked their best start to a league campaign at home since the 1950/51 campaign and Robins insists he always had belief in his players despite being a goal down at the break.

He said: “Belief and knowing that they were getting into good positions to stop them but also having the belief, vision and ability to move the ball really quickly and shift them.

“We knew where we could exploit and we exploited their positions really well by quick movement, good vision and good execution of passes and by a willingness to get all over them and rob them of the ball.”

Teenage wing-back Maatsen produced his best performance in a Sky Blues shirt and Robins heaped praise on the young defender who has impressed on loan from Chelsea.

He added: “Ian Maatsen just grew in stature during the game, he grew in confidence and belief and the quality was there in his pressing and positioning.

“He was absolutely outstanding both in the defensive bit and the attacking bit, he got it spot on.

“We grew into the game, we went a goal down, I think it was a foul, he manhandled Faz out of the way and Faz ends up heading it into his own net.

“I know how good they are, they need to believe that and believe that from the start of games.”

The result leaves Coventry in third place in the Championship table just three points off the top as they head into an international break.

The Sky Blues are next in action on Saturday, October 16 when they travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers.

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