TONY Mowbray did not hold back after watching his side fall to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at relegation threatened Doncaster Rovers, describing the performance as the worst he has seen this year.
Despite heading into Saturday’s match off the back of two straight home wins over promotion hopefuls Millwall and Bradford City, the Sky Blues fell back into their losing habit with an eighth defeat in 13 matches at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Another defeat ended any outside chance of the Sky Blues making the League One play-offs and the City boss admits a lack of fight made it all the more disappointing to take.
“We didn’t show enough fight, which is very disappointing for me,” said Mowbray. “If you’re a boxer in a boxing ring and you get punched in the nose, you have to fight back, and we didn’t do that today.
“There was a distinct lack of fight, and unfortunately I think its the team we have got. I thought we would have to defend well against a team that would be on the front foot, pressing high up, and we couldn’t do that.
“There was not enough fight and I am disappointed for the supporters that travelled up.
“I haven’t been as disappointed as this, this year, even when we were on a bad run and lost some close matches, we should have won. But Saturday was just not good enough.”
The opening goal of the game came on 21 minutes when former Sky Blues player Gary McSheffrey delivered an-swinging corner which was headed past Reice Charles-Cook by Tommy Rowe at the near post.
Eight minutes later Doncaster doubled their advantage when a break down the left saw Nathan Tyson cross into the area and Andy Williams was left unmarked to head past Charles’ Cook again by the penalty spot.
The closest the Sky Blues came to breaking the deadlock was when substitute Vladimir Gadzhev unleashed a powerful low effort which looked to be heading towards the bottom right-hand corner of the net but Doncaster goalkeeper Remi Matthews got down well and palmed the ball away before it was cleared.
Mowbray selected Adam Armstrong, Jodi Jones and Jacob Murphy in attack but in hindsight the City boss admits that may have been a bad decision.
“Maybe it was a bit too much for a few of the young players,” Mowbray added.
“It was a mistake maybe putting faith in the young players at the top of the pitch.
“I thought we could break away on the counter, using some speed and directness, but it didn’t pan out that way.”