COVENTRY City boss Mark Robins has called on his new signings to ‘be smarter’ following the Sky Blues’ exit from the first round of the Carabao Cup this week.
City were denied a path into the second round after they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Oxford United on Tuesday night.
Robins fielded a strong side at the Kassam Stadium but the starting XI also featured five summer signings and the City boss has warned against judging his team too quickly ahead of Saturday’s home clash against Plymouth Argyle in League One.
“There are a lot of new signings and a lot of young players and they’re just trying to find their feet at this level,” he said.
“You can see that – they’re trying.
“I’m not saying they’re not trying, they just need to be a little bit smarter and have an endeavour to score some goals from the chances we’re creating.
“We’ve got plenty of time to work on them.”
Despite an even first half, two goals after the break from full debutants Marcus Browne and Gavin Whyte gave Karl Robinson’s Oxford side a comfortable lead and the City manager was full of praise for his opponents.
“They were better than us,” he said.
“They worked really hard. They worked to stop us from playing and they have players who have a little bit better know-how.”
However, City did produce some fine attacking moves throughout the game and some tight offside calls disallowed goals from Max Biamou and Jordan Ponticelli which could have transformed the tie.
A late surge from the Sky Blues also brought some positive moments which Robins will be keen to build on in the coming weeks.
“We put some decent moves together when we got a little bit of confidence,” he said.
“I think one or two are just suffering with a lack of confidence at the minute but it’s very early days.
“You don’t want to be going goals down and having to come back but, having said that, the changes that were made made a difference.”
Although Robins was determined not to bemoan the decisions, he insisted his side looked like they lacked match sharpness.
“I’ve got no complaints about the scoreline,” he added.
“I think there’s disappointment, but we just looked off them.
“We looked, again, that we weren’t ready for that game and that’s something I don’t want to be repeating too often, so I think that they were sharper to it.”