Mark Robins: Coventry defended 'miles better' when down to nine men against Portsmouth

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Mark Robins believes Coventry defended ‘miles better’ when they went down to nine men as his side salvaged an improbable point at Pompey.

The Sky Blues fought back from two goals down to snatch a 3-3 draw at Fratton Park – despite ending the clash with two men sent off. 

Kenny Jackett’s side were well on their way to a second League One victory of the season following goals from Ronan Curtis, John Marquis and Gareth Evans, while Fankaty Dabo had received his marching order for the visitors.

After Matt Godden netted a penalty to reduce the arrears, Gervane Kastaneer was then dismissed for a second yellow card.

Despite Coventry’s numerical disadvantage, however, Michael Rose prodded home to equalise with four minutes remaining. 

Pompey desperately searched for a match-winner in the closing stages, but Robins’ troops produced a brave rearguard action to pick up a point.

Michael Rose tucks home Coventry's equaliser against Pompey. Picture: Robin Jones.

Michael Rose tucks home Coventry's equaliser against Pompey. Picture: Robin Jones.

And the Sky Blues manager lauded his side’s late heroics.

Robins told his club’s website: ‘We defended miles better with two men less and that has to be a lesson we look at and learn from.

‘The way that all the individuals within the team defended when we lost the two men was nothing short of phenomenal.

‘I thought we started off really brightly and scored a really good goal then we just seemed to get a little bit nervy, a bit anxious.

‘We made a couple of mistakes that led to two goals and when they took the lead that really put us on the back foot.

‘We were putting ourselves on the back foot, rather than it being anything that they did.’

Robins is hoping Dabo and Kastaneer both learn from their dismissals.

But it didn’t stop him from again heaping the utmost amount of praise on his players who saw out the draw.

Robins added: ‘I have got to accept mistakes to a degree but not keep making the same ones.

‘Hopefully we have learnt a massive lesson because what happened with nine men was nothing short of outstanding.’