FOOTBALL - Robins: 'Middlesbrough are favourites' after goalless first leg - The Coventry Observer

FOOTBALL - Robins: 'Middlesbrough are favourites' after goalless first leg

Coventry Editorial 15th May, 2023   0

MARK Robins insists Middlesbrough are now favourites to advance to Wembley after his Coventry City side battled to a goalless draw in the first leg of their play-off semi-final.

The Sky Blues were unable to make home advantage count at an electric Coventry Building Society Arena and head to Boro’s Riverside Stadium with their promotion chances in the balance.

However, Robins believes City are in a good position ahead of a finely poised second leg which takes place on Wednesday, May 17 with kick-off at 8pm.

Robins said: “We’ve still got a chance, this is how hard you’ve got to work to get to a Wembley final, Middlesbrough are favourites now.

“They’ve got a good squad of players, we know it’s tough but we’re in there shouting, the biggest thing for us is to make sure we recover right and go again on Wednesday.

“The energy both teams have used will have a significant bearing on Wednesday, they’ve got the stronger squad which is why they are the favourites to go up.

“It was tight, Chuba Akpom had the best two chances of the game, we turned over the ball too often, we did better in the second half, we pinned them in a little bit.

“Chances were at a real premium, we didn’t use the ball well enough in the first half, the heat meant both teams started to tire towards the last 20 minutes or so.

“It was in that spell where we could have fashioned a chance but they blocked things, it’s a decent position to be in going into the game on Wednesday, we’ve got to be ready and we need everybody.”

Boro have only lost once at home in the league since Michael Carrick’s appointment in October – a 2-1 defeat to eventual champions Burnley.

However, Coventry are one of just four clubs, along with Bristol City, Stoke City and Burnley, to take points off of Carrick’s Boro at the Riverside following their 1-1 draw on the final day of the season.

The second leg takes place on Wednesday, May 17 with kick-off at 8pm at the Riverside Stadium.

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