Keep calm and carry on as usual says Robins


Warwickshire Telegraph - - FOOTBALL - By SHANE IRE­LAND

MARK Robins has warned his Coven­try City play­ers not to take their foot off the gas and un­der­es­ti­mate Wal­sall.

The Sad­dlers have en­dured a mis­er­able run of form of late, los­ing four of their last five matches ahead of to­day’s FA Cup first round tie.

City, mean­while, are un­beaten in six and went on a five-game win­ning run be­fore draw­ing to Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley last week­end.

But the Sky Blues will ig­nore the con­trast in re­cent re­sults when they travel to the Banks’s Sta­dium.

“I don’t be­lieve in that, you go and try and do the best you can,” said Robins.

“We’ve got a good squad of play­ers that are in a con­fi­dent mood and we look for­ward to the oc­ca­sion, the FA Cup is al­ways a good oc­ca­sion.

“It would be bril­liant to have an­other cup run, if we have one like we did last year, then I think we will all be happy.

“It’s a good com­pe­ti­tion, when this time of year comes around, there is a lot of in­ter­est in the games that are thrown up and you get a lot of dif­fer­ent sides from dif­fer­ent tiers and it al­ways makes it in­ter­est­ing. It is com­pe­ti­tion we want to do well in.”

City will be buoyed by the news that Luke Thomas will be able to fea­ture in the game at Wal­sall. Derby City have granted Sky Blues per­mis­sion to field the loa­nee at the Banks’s Sta­dium.

It means the winger, who is on loan un­til Jan­uary, would be cup-tied should the Rams want to use him later in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Thomas, 19, has made 15 ap­pear­ances for the Sky Blues, in­clud­ing 14 starts, and re­cently scored his first goal for the club.

“We’ve given them per­mis­sion,” said Rams boss Frank Lampard. “They are both do­ing well, I’m happy for them to play, it’s great for them.

“It’s a chance for them and I would never stop that, un­less it was an ex­treme cir­cum­stance that we would need to make a de­ci­sion on.

“I’m al­ways gen­er­ally happy for the play­ers to play when they are happy and the clubs are look­ing af­ter them very well.”

City will be backed by around 3,000 fans and are likely to out­num­ber the home sup­port­ers as they bid to make it to the sec­ond round.

They also took up bumper away al­lo­ca­tions in last sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion, to MK Dons and then to Brighton and Hove Al­bion where they were knocked out at the fifth round stage.

“It’s an im­por­tant com­pe­ti­tion for ev­ery­one,” added Robins.

“Th­ese days out for the sup­port­ers and the mem­o­ries of last year are still strong.

“I think we are tak­ing around 3,000, so we may even out­num­ber the Wal­sall sup­port, if not match them which is out­stand­ing sup­port.

“It is a tough start for us and we’ve got to go there and un­der­stand that.

“We’ve got a good group of play­ers and they are per­form­ing well at the mo­ment, we want to go there and put on a good per­for­mance, but we have to un­der­stand they are a good side.

“When you come up against a side in the same divi­sion it is a tough game, but say­ing that, we played Maiden­head and Bore­ham Wood last year and they were dif­fi­cult games in their own right.

“There are no easy games. We’ve just got to go there and try and get through and put a good per­for­mance.”

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