17th Nov, 2018

Opportunity knocks for Sky Blues in push for play-offs

Les Reid 9th Mar, 2018 Updated: 9th Mar, 2018

COVENTRY City are ready to take on the “big opportunity” of the last 12 games starting against Barnet at home on Saturday – after last week’s Siberian freak intervention paused their campaign.

And speaking this morning, boss Mark Robins reminded Sky Blues’ fans there are “no easy games” in League Two, with Barnet struggling to avoid relegation.

Robins, speaking before last week’s subsequently postponed Lincoln City game, had said the final 12 League Two games presented a big opportunity for the players to enjoy.

Two excellent away results against high-flying Mansfield (1-1 with 10 men) and Wycombe (0-1) had got promotion contention back on track, after three straight League defeats, amid injuries, illness and apparent fatigue.

The Sky Blues remain within three points of the play-offs with a game in hand after Tuesday’s League Two fixtures, when Lincoln missed their opportunity to leapfrog Coventry into eighth by only drawing at Mansfield.

With Notts County also drawing, Coventry are still in touch of several teams above them, with games in hand.

Barnet are bottom of the table, but have had their moments this season and looked a well-organised, physical outfit during a 0-0 draw against Coventry.

On Tuesday, Robins’ men take on the league leaders Luton Town.

Robins said last week: “There are 12 games left and we have a big opportunity.”

Speaking at today’s press conference, he said: “There are no easy games. That is the biggest cliché in football but it’s true. There are no easy games and people are fighting for different reasons and we want to get out of this division this season.

“We’ve not done well enough so far in terms of picking points up. Like I said, for us, it’s about going into these games, enjoying it and embracing it and having a real go.

“We’re desperate to keep going. This ten day break has given us a little bit of time to evaluate and look at training for the week leading up to the game.

“We’ve had plenty of time to work. The players know what is expected from now, and not just tomorrow, but now until the end of the season.

“We want to enjoy it. It’s one of those times where we want to go and enjoy the challenges.

“We have been good at home. We have gone into the last two games and obviously suffered a setback early on against Mansfield and then came back into it.

“We were well into the game and could have nicked it. The game against Wycombe was a step up in level and I thought that we were good. It was a really good away performance.

“Like I’ve said before, it’s about enjoyment and going into the games full of confidence and excitement about what we can do.

“Barnet have got a different manager. Graham Westley has changed things up a little bit. They’ve got some good players; they’ve got some capable players. There are some threats on the field and we have to be wary of those but as I say, we’ve got to go and enjoy it, embrace this challenge and go for it.”

He added: “You have to prepare for the next game. The next game is the most important game of our season but we want to go into it looking to build on what we’ve done.

“Some of the football that we’re playing, some of the football this season, has been really good. We’ve just got to remember that and that’s what we’ve been working on; the different areas of trying to make the best out of the players that we have and give them the confidence to go out there and do it, and the freedom to go and do it because it’s about them.”

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