“I have seen a difference in the players, ” said Coventry City boss Mark Robins in preparation for tomorrow’s FA Cup Fifth Round clash at Premier League Brighton.
More than 4,000 Sky Blues fans, who grabbed all allocated tickets within a day, will be hoping for improvement after a worrying collapse in League Two form resulted in three straight defeats since Fourth Round victory at League One MK Dons in front of 7,500 travelling Coventry supporters.
Robins told this morning’s press conference: “We are all excited. I have seen a difference in the players and they’re looking forward to it.
“We need to get back on the pitch after Tuesday as fast as possible. It is a great stadium and a great place to go. There is no better game for us really because it gives us a break from the league and a chance to go toe-to-toe with Premier League opponents.
“I wish I could play,” he joked.
It is not clear if the cup run has had a negative impact on League form, although the extra fixtures could not have helped in a camp affected by injuries and a virus in the last fortnight.
Robins continued: “After Tuesday night (a 2-1 defeat at Colchester) I thought it was going to be hard work to pick the players up but they have been brilliant.
“Everything we spoke about after the game are there for people to see. We have had plenty of injuries and we have a small squad.
“I think tomorrow maybe as many as eight of the team that will travel have come from the academy. That is where we are at. We are not moaning about it and it is also a fantastic plus.
He added: “We want to give a good account of ourselves. They are the hot favourites in the game, but anything can happen in the FA Cup.”
The manager also said: “The only way that our league form has affected us is because of the injuries that we have picked up, but that is the same with any game.
“Although it has been a disappointing week, we do have plenty of games to make it right in the league.
“This game is a distraction, but a good distraction. We have had a great run and played some great games along the way. This is another one in that line.
“If we didn’t go into the game feeling it was winnable then there would be no point going.
“The difference between the two sides is there for everyone to see, and to top it off they are going to be starting their record £14million signing (Dutch striker Jurgen Locadia).”
There are 64 places between the two sides, yet Coventry beat Premier League Stoke City at home in the third round.