MARK Robins enjoyed his first win as manager of Coventry City at Oldham on Saturday, and now wants to try and beat MK Dons at their own game – by out-passing them.
Dons make the short journey to the Ricoh Arena for the first time on Tuesday night, in search of three points that could see them go second in League 1, while Coventry go into the game on the back of their first win of the season at Oldham.
Four home games have brought just two points for City so far this season, but with Robins now at the helm following the sacking of Andy Thorn, the Sky Blues look a slightly more challenging test for Karl Robinson’s men than they did a couple of weeks ago.
And after Cody McDonald’s injury time header gave them all three points at Boundary Park, Robins – who has previously managed Rotherham and Barnsley – is in confident mood ahead of Dons’ visit.
“It’s going to be a good test. I saw them against Sunderland and they’re a decent side,” said Robins. “They played some great football but Sunderland had the superior striking power and managed to get two good goals.
“I expect them to move and pass and probe, have a real go, and the ball will be on the floor. We need to be on our toes, switched on at all times, and pass the ball like we know we can do, and try to out-play them.”
Robins lost his first home game in charge 2-1 to Carlisle just over a week ago, before a 6-1 Capital One thrashing at the hands of Arsenal. But with Derby midfielder James Bailey his first new recruit, Coventry look set to climb the table, and Dons will have to improve on the performance that saw them beat Crewe 1-0 if they are to avoid the potential banana skin.
Robinson said: “Coventry haven’t really got going this season but they’re not far away. They’ve got a good manager, good players, a fantastic stadium – they’re just not having the rub of the green.
“I watched them play Stevenage a couple of weeks ago and I actually thought they were the better team in the first half, it’s just not going their way at the moment.
“I’m sure at some stage it will click and they’ll definitely be competing to get into the top half and maybe push for the play-offs in the latter part of the season.
“The Ricoh has a massive pitch with lots of room to express yourself, so we’ve got to go there and do what we do best and that’s play football and entertain our fans.”
Dons will be backed by a healthy following at the Ricoh, with 456 away tickets sold as of Monday evening.