The key factor Coventry boss believes his side got right in their defeat of Portsmouth

Mark Robins saluted how Coventry nullified Pompey's attacking threat – and Ronan Curtis in particular.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 12:00 pm

With just one point and one place separating the two sides heading into the encounter, it played out as closely as expected.

The clash appeared to be heading for a goalless draw, but ex-Blues target Matt Godden’s 84th-minute intervention snatched all three points for the home side.

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It condemned Pompey to their first lost of 2020 and quelled the club-record nine-match winning streak.

Robins felt Coventry did superbly to limit the Blues to a dearth of goalscoring opportunities.

‘It wasn’t a brilliant spectacle but a massive three points nonetheless,’ Robins told his club’s website.

Coventry City manager Mark Robins. Picture: Kieran Cleeves

‘I think the big thing for me was the way we defended and how we could keep them at bay.

‘Ronan Curtis is a good player for them and he didn’t have too much of a say and influence in the game which is brilliant because when he does, he is dangerous.

‘Both wing-backs did particularly well and I think we defended better than we have done recently and we had to do that, on set-plays we headed everything out.

‘We were a little bit on the back foot in terms of the way they press and the way they get after you and we didn’t have the quality on the final ball or the pass in the middle of the park to build any momentum and we usually do that really well but not last night.

‘That was because of them, they stop you from building momentum, they block you off and they worked their socks off.

‘Thankfully we have worked them that hard that things started to open up and we made changes to affect the game and that’s what happened.’

He instead joined Coventry and came back to haunt the side who previously coveted his signature.

Having been an injury doubt for the game, Robins heaped praise on Godden’s match-winning impact.

He added: ‘It is brilliant when you have someone like Matty Godden to bring on.

‘It was a brilliant goal, he was flicked in behind and his movement off the defender was great, he controlled his volley well and he helped it into the side netting and the ‘keeper was nowhere near it.

‘He has only been back a couple of days in training otherwise he might have started the game, but it was good to see his movement and sharpness was there and he showed that little bit of awareness which was magnificent.’