SKY Blues boss Tony Mowbray admits his side simply were not good enough as the search for a first league win of the seasons stretched to six games.
After a goalless opening period at Highbury Stadium on Saturday, the visitors fell to a 2-0 defeat with goals from Chris Long and Martyn Woolford condemning City to a fourth consecutive defeat on the road.
It leaves the Sky Blues sitting second from bottom, just one point ahead of Rochdale ahead of this weekend’s trip to Millwall.
“We don’t give ourselves a chance to win games when we don’t score, as obvious as that sounds,” said Mowbray.
“If you don’t score a goal you’re not going to win the game and yet it was also our inability to defend the counter-attack that lost us the game.
“We’ve been there already this season and ultimately it wasn’t good enough today at both ends of the pitch. We had some chances to score and didn’t take them. We paid the ultimate cost for not being clinical enough.”
Devante Cole tested Reice Charles-Cook in the visiting goal early on before Chris McCann had City’s first effort but his curling effort was a long way off the target after so neat work by Dan Agyei.
Despite Mowbray’s side dominating possession, it was Fleetwood who almost took the lead on 18 minutes when a clearance by Charles-Cook fell to David Ball who went for an audacious chip from 30 yards out but debutant Jamie Sterry was able to make an important clearance off the line.
The visitors were dealt a blow shortly before the break with McCann was withdrawn from the match in place of Marcus Tudgay after picking up an injury.
There was still time for Mowbray’s side to almost find a breakthrough but after Marvin Sordell had forced his way past three challenges and cut the ball back for Dan Agyei, the City striker was a denied his second goal for the club after a smart save by Chris Neal.
Neal had to be alert again shortly after the break to keep out Sterry’s low effort which looked destined for the bottom corner as City started the second half brightly.
Agyei was twice denied by Neal again before somewhat against the run of play Fleetwood got their noses in front on 58 minutes. A swift counter attack led to Chris Long cutting inside down the right and firing a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The hosts doubled their lead 19 minutes from time when Sordell lost possession inside his own half and the ball was played to substitute Martyn Woolford who beat Charles-Cook with a low finish.
Chances came and went as City pushed for a way back into the match but the scoreline could have been worse had Ball not shot straight at Charles-Cook by the penalty spot.
“I can see the issues in the team, and whilst it is a very young team I can’t make those excuses,” Mowbray added.
“This will be the first week we’ll be able to train fully and work with them really. The games have been coming thick and fast making it hard to work on specific things in training.”
“It’s a big test of character for the players and although it has been a disappointing day and start to the season, it gives the lads the chance to bounce back and prove they can compete at this level.”