Burton better than Portsmouth? Coventry boss Mark Robins' League One verdict with away trips to both now in the can

Mark Robins admitted Coventry came through their biggest challenge of the season to date as his side went top of League One with a goalless draw at Burton on Saturday.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 2:54 pm
Coventry manager Mark Robins, left Picture: Joe Pepler

The stalemate at the Pirelli Stadium was enough to see the Sky Blues move to the division’s summit after previous leaders Wycombe lost 2-0 at Gillingham.

Coventry enjoy a one-point lead over second-placed Ipswich, who climbed one place in the standings following their own goalless draw against Doncaster Rovers at Portman Road.

But as Robins took stock of his side’s latest achievement – they are still without a loss in eight League One games this term – he admitted his side had navigated their way past their ‘most difficult task yet’ without damaging their unbeaten record.

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The Sky Blues secured a 3-3 draw with Pompey at Fratton Park last month, despite playing the last 12 minutes with nine men.

‘It (Burton) was always going to be a difficult game,’ Robins told Coventry Live.

‘I said yesterday (Friday) that it would be our most difficult task yet and that’s no disrespect to anyone else we’ve played, but I just know how they play and do things here, and it proved that way.

‘The second half was more like a basketball game in all fairness, end to end. There were some good efforts and good football played by both teams.

Coventry manager Mark Robins, left Picture: Joe Pepler

‘There were a few chances, but not many on a day when there was no quarter asked or given. It was a really good advert for the league and the two clubs. The atmosphere was excellent and our support was phenomenal again, and that’s really helping.

‘We are playing a decent brand of football and we weren’t at our best, and you have to credit Burton for that.’

Burton dropped to 11th in the table following the draw on home soil.

But as they prepare to travel to Fratton Park on Tuesday night, manager Nigel Clough admitted his side had produced one of their best displays since the end of last season.

Speaking to Derbyshire Live, Clough said: ‘It was a brilliant game.

‘People say you've got to have goals in games. Well, I thought that was as good a 0-0 as you will see, and in League One as well, the quality of some of the play from both sides was excellent.

‘We more than measured up, I thought we edged the game.

‘I thought some of our play was very good indeed. That's probably one of the best we've played since the end of last season, in terms of keeping it and taking into account the opposition as well.’

Another manager left satisfied with what his team produced was Peterborough’s Darren Ferguson, who saw his side thump Rochdale 6-0 at London Road.

After the Posh moved into the play-off places, Ferguson told the Peterborough Telegraph: ‘That was a very satisfying performance and result for many reasons.

‘Obviously scoring six goals is impressive, but I was just as pleased with the discipline and concentration we showed when we didn’t have the ball.’

Following Sunderland’s 3-0 defeat to Posh in their last League One outing, Black Cats boss Jack Ross said his side responded well with a 3-1 win at Accrington.

Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, he said: ‘We have had a lot of experience of coming here (Accrington), we know what a difficult venue it is and a team in good form recently.

‘Every time the squad was asked questions recently they had responded and they did that again Saturday.’

Other results: AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Shrewsbury, Blackpool 0-3 MK Dons, Lincoln 0-1 Bristol Rovers, Oxford 3-0 Tranmere, Rotherham 6-1 Bolton, Southend 3-3 Fleetwood.