STEVEN Pressley was full of praise for his young back four after the Sky Blues kick started 2015 with a 2-0 win away at West Midlands rivals Walsall.
Despite being without Andy Webster and Arron Martin, the Sky Blues recorded their fifth clean sheet in seven league matches at the Bescot Stadium on Saturday in front of a strong away following (1772).
Marcus Tudgay missed an early penalty just moments after Jim O’Brien fired home a goal of the season contender.
And after surviving a second half onslaught from the hosts Tudgay made up for his earlier miss by sealing the victory with a header four minutes from time.
“I thought we were outstanding,” said Pressley. We performed in a manner which I expect from my sides and it was great to see.
“You can always work on the tactics but it is up to the players to apply them on a match-day. We did that and we needed that to show how good we can be.
“A lot of credit has to go to our young back-four who performed brilliantly to keep our fifth clean sheet in eight games and we’ve now only conceded four goals in eight. A fantastic record.
“It gives us a really good foundation to build from. We had quite a bit to contend with before the game with Gary Madine and Aaron Martin out, and Andy Webster withdrew just before the game.
“The players didn’t let it get to them. I have to give a big mention to Aaron Phillips who, with very little training time under his belt recently due to injury, performed brilliantly. He gave everything to the team.”
The win pushes the Sky Blues up to 16th in League One and they now sit just four points away from the play-offs.
And Pressley wants to see his side build momentum starting with Monday night’s home match against league leaders Swindon.
He added: “As I said leading up to the game this week, this game will show us where our season will go. Either get momentum and push up the league, or battle in the bottom half.
“We’ve come through a challenging period but picked up some decent results. It gives us something to build on now.
“We’ve got to use this result to push on with now. I think this result shows the group how good we can be and they need to take confidence from what was a proper Coventry City performance.”