Robins faces big decision on who will lead attack for Sky Blues
MARK Robins has a tough choice to make this weekend, whether to stick with Jonson Clarke-Harris or give Amadou Bakayoko a rare League One start against Wycombe Wanderers.
The 22-year-old stepped off the bench to score a spectacular matchwinning brace at Charlton Athletic last week, having replaced ClarkeHarris just before the hour mark.
He was then handed another opportunity to impress against Forest Green Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night, when he played the full 90 minutes.
And although he put in a lively performance, he passed up the opportunity to get on the scoresheet with the one clear cut chance he got to add to his tally of three goals to date.
Sky Blues boss Robins recognised that he looked a different player to that which fans had seen prior to last weekend’s heroics, but knows he still has plenty of work to do to make him close to the finished article.
“That’s what confidence can do,” he said, reflecting on Bakayoko’s midweek display, “but we’re still trying to get more from him and that’s the frustration at the minute. But it’s going to take a bit of time.
“I said to him in the dressing room, however much time depends entirely on him.
“Does he understand what we’re talking about when we’re talking about chasing down and stretching the defence? And then making up opportunities for yourself and making the right decisions – do I shoot or do I pass it? How do I go and stretch the opponent, where do I stand when the ball is being played forward – all those things he has got to try to work out and then he can be whatever he wants to be because he has got all the attributes there.
“It’s just a case of putting them all together and getting them to come out on a regular basis.” Like many of Robins’ young players, consistency has been hard to come by for the £300,000 summer signing from Walsall who has been limited to just two starts and six substitute appearances in the league.
Robins and his assistant Adi Viveash, who does a lot of the coaching at Ryton, have been working hard with the striker to help him improve, and are going to be relentless in their efforts.
“We’re trying to get the processes into him so he understands why he scored on Saturday, what he did to score on Saturday,” said Robins.
“And all those things are going to take time to get into him.
“But we’re going to keep throwing it at him until it sticks and then he’ll be a handful for any defender.”
Jodi Jones should be back in contention after missing the last two games through illness but City will be without Jordan Shipley who is on international duty with Ireland’s Under-21 squad.
The 20-year-old has been called up for the first time to face Israel and Germany in the Euro qualifiers. We’re going to keep throwing it at him until it sticks and then he’ll be a
handful for any defender.
Amadou Bakayoko celebrates after scoring his first goal against CharltonWycombe have started the season well, in my opinion. They sit in 17th but I think their performances are better than that.The two main signings have been Jason McCarthy and Bryn Morris. McCarthy won fans’ player of the year when he was on loan in the 2015/16 season from Southampton and has been superb either at rightback or centre-half this season. Morris has been brilliant since joining on loan from Shrewsbury. He has got a couple of goals, including a superb one at Pompey and is a real driving force for the side.