Robins relishing Canaries cup reunion
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Mark Robins is relishing his Norwich City FA Cup reunion and insists it's a competition he wants his Coventry City side to succeed in this season.
The former Canaries frontman has helped restore the Sky Blues back towards the top flight of English football, playing an attractive brand of football and recruiting smartly in the process.
Despite ensuring survival in the Championship being his priority this season, Robins believes the cup presents the perfect opportunity for a number of players to stake their claim for a regular starting position.
Robins has confirmed he will make changes for the game and is also looking forward to his squad testing themselves against the promotion-chasing Canaries.
“All the players that are in the team or out of the team at the moment are a big part of what we do, players that aren’t in the team are fighting for their spot, they’re in a good place both mentally and physically and it gives me some thoughts going into this game.
“Norwich will be exactly the same, they’ll make wholesale changes, they’ve got a really good squad and lots of depth, they’ve had injury problems, they’re back now, and we’ll both be trying to get through to the next round.
“We prepare for ourselves, we look at Norwich and they’ve got a DNA and a way they do things regardless of personnel, we have to concentrate on ourselves and deal with their quality, they’re a strong team in this division, it’s another team aspiring to be back in the Premier League.
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“It was a really good draw, the way they move the ball around, it’ll be an interesting day, it’s a 12 o’clock kick-off which is a different time and it’s a game to look forward to."
The Sky Blues boss was an FA Cup winner with Manchester United in 1990, scoring the goal against Nottingham Forest which famously saved Alex Ferguson's job at the club. That goal is widely regarded as the turning point in the Scot's reign as they went onto win the first piece of silverware under him.
Robins also netted in the semi-final replay against Oldham Athletic and came on as a substitute in the final. Reflecting on winning the competition, Robins admitted getting a medal so early in his career was a special moment.
“That was my breakthrough season, I thought that was the norm, that was the last time I got to the FA Cup final, fortunately we won it, I was on the bench and I came on in the first game, it went to a replay, I didn’t come on in the second game, but I got a winners medal and it was a good start to my career.
“The FA Cup, in isolation, is always a special competition, it just feels slightly different this year from my perspective, the competition itself isn’t any less special, it’s always good to try and get through and pit your wits against teams from different levels.
“We were two leagues apart last year, we’re competing on the pitch against them tomorrow and we’re going to try and get through to the fourth round," the former Canaries striker told Coventry's official website.
“Every game is important, we’re going into this game with the same anticipation and the same hopes, the players have done so well, I think everybody deserves an enormous amount of credit for the way they’re going about their jobs.”
Robins has delivered a fresh injury bulletin ahead of their trip to Carrow Road, with Coventry's entire first-team squad testing negative for coronavirus.
Influential skipper Liam Kelly is set to be ruled out for months and Robins will be without Matty Godden after he suffered a foot injury in their win over Millwall. The game comes too soon for goalkeeper Marko Marosi and striker Tyler Walker.
Forward Gervane Kastaneer could be handed some more minutes after he returned to training earlier this week.