TONY Mowbray has praised the professionalism of Marcus Tudgay after he returned to the starting line-up and helped fire the Sky Blues back up to second in the League One table.
With in-form Adam Armstrong unavailable for Sunday’s clash away at Burton on Sunday, Mowbray turned to the experienced Tudgay and handed him his first league start of the season.
And the 32-year-old repaid the faith shown in him by his manager by scoring a well taken first half equaliser at the Pirelli Stadium after an own goal by Aaron Martin had handed the home side an early lead.
Romain Vincelot scored the easiest of goals in the second half to earn the Sky Blues their fourth win of the season and Mowbray was full of praise for Tudgay for being a nuiscance to the Burton defence all afternoon.
He said: “Marcus constantly worked hard up front and takes the brunt from some physical challenges but just dusts himself down and does it again.
“Considering he isn’t over six foot, he challenges in the air for every ball and makes life difficult for the opposition.
“I spoke to Marcus in the summer and he knows he isn’t going to play every game but I knew he would have a part to play this season.
“He took his goal really well and could have got another near the end. It shows us that we’ve got real options in the forward areas.”
A depleted Sky Blues side travelled to Burton for the televised fixture without the likes of injured pair James Maddison, Jordan Willis and Armstrong who was away on England duty.
The visitors found themselves 1-0 down after 11 minutes when the recalled Martin put Mark Duffy’s cross from the right into his own net.
Mowbray’s side however were back on level terms nine minutes later. The impressive Ruben Lameiras picked out Tudgay by the penalty spot and he had the composure to take the ball down and volley past Jon McLaughlan in the Burton goal.
Eight minutes after the break the Sky Blues completed their comeback in bizaree fashion.
Jacob Murphy delivered a telling cross into the box which was met by the head of Romain Vincelot before bouncing off Martin towards goal and Vincelot poked the ball home into an empty net.
Burton protested that Vincelot was in an offside position but after consulting his linesman the referee awarded the goal.
It was backs to the wall for the remainder of the second half but the visitors stood firm and produced a gritty performance to come away with all three points.
Mowbray added: “We’re digging into the squad a little bit now but players have come into the side and done really well for us.
“I think the squad still needs adding to but we’re definitely getting there. The players we’ve got at the moment are giving everything they’ve got.
“I think they showed that we’ve got warrior-like characters at the football club and when it got difficult, they were prepared to battle it out.”