Fu­ture is bright for doomed Sky Blues

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By James Owens

COVEN­TRY City’s re­cent up­turn in form may have come too late to keep them in League One, but boss Mark Robins is adamant that the Sky Blues are head­ing in the right di­rec­tion af­ter their lat­est vic­tory.

Ruben Lameiras’ pre­ci­sion strike five min­utes into the sec­ond half gave the Check­a­trade Tro­phy win­ners their third win in four league out­ings at the ex­pense of Peterborough United af­ter the vis­i­tors failed to con­vert a first-half penalty.

And while Robins con­cedes that rel­e­ga­tion is all but guar­an­teed, he in­sists that his side have im­proved markedly since he took charge early last month.

“The play­ers have given me ev­ery­thing,” Robins said. “The first three games weren’t good enough by any stretch. Some of the games still aren’t good enough, but we’re get­ting there, and they’re giv­ing me ev­ery­thing that they’ve got.”

Sky Blues striker Stu­art Beavon is with­out a goal in seven matches, but was just inches away from giv­ing the hosts the lead with a spec­tac­u­lar bi­cy­cle kick which rat­tled the post on 27 min­utes.

Vis­i­tors Peterborough looked set to cap­i­talise five min­utes be­fore the break when ref­eree Gavin Ward pe­nalised Gael Bi­gi­r­i­mana af­ter a com­ing to­gether with Martin Sa­muelsen in the box, but Craig Mack­ailSmith saw his penalty saved by the out­stretched leg of Lee Burge.

And their waste­ful­ness was pun­ished in the early stages of the sec­ond half, when Beavon un­selfishly teed up Lameiras, who guided a crisp left­footed fin­ish into the bot­tom cor­ner from just in­side the box.

Ju­nior Mo­rais rat­tled the wood­work from dis­tance shortly af­ter the hour, and saw a closerange header saved nine min­utes from time, but the hosts de­fended solidly to keep their faint math­e­mat­i­cal hopes of sur­vival alive.

“For us it’s about build­ing on per­for­mances,” Robins added. “We know what’s likely to come. We’ve just got to keep try­ing to im­prove all the time.”

By con­trast Peterborough boss Grant McCann pulled no punches in as­sess­ing his side’s per­for­mance.

“I don’t think we de­served to win,” McCann said. “I thought we lacked tempo and en­ergy in our per­for­mance .

“That’s four points Coven­try have taken off us this sea­son. Those four points could have put us within touch­ing dis­tance of the top six, but it’s not to be. The ta­ble doesn’t lie. We haven’t been con­sis­tent enough.”

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