Robbo revels in ‘smash and grab’ victory

Karl Robinson
Karl Robinson

He admitted a draw would have been fair, but Karl Robinson was delighted to have snatched a late win against Sheffield United.

Antony Kay’s 87th minute header was enough to separate the two teams at Bramall Lane in what was an otherwise bitty, neutral affair.

Minutes before Kay’s winner, Febian Brandy missed a sitter for United, but saw red in stoppage time for a foul on Lee Hodson.

But while Robinson would have taken a draw, he was proud of his side for sticking with it and snatching a late goal.

“It was smash and grab,” he said. “I thought for 60 minutes this was a stalemate. The two styles were so similar we cancelled each other out. It wasn’t until the substitutions at the end that the game opened up.

“We had Febain’s miss, and then we scored from a set piece. It’s very rare that we do that.

“It was a weird game. Let’s not get carried away, I think 0-0 was fair but we managed to get a set piece goal.

“You don’t come to places like this and just walk away with three points. Not many managers can walk away from this place with three points.”

Robinson cited fatigue as a factor in his side’s performance, after the huge journey to and from Sunderland in the week, and said that all the time on the bus in the last week had been worth it for the win.

He said: “We got back at 4am on Wednesday morning, we didn’t train until 5pm on Thursday because of an appearance we had to make as a club. We trained on Friday and then sat on a bus for five hours to get to Sheffield with all the traffic. We have lived out of a coach for a week. But the effort and determination of the squad have earned us this result.

The manager also hailed his back four for keeping a clean sheet, and especially with the return of both full-backs Dean Lewington and Lee Hodson to the side.

“The biggest thing for me was the return of Dean Lewington,” Robinson added. “I’ve been without him for a few weeks and it shows why he is the captain of this club.

“Lee Hodson defended well against Murphy and Flynn - two of the best wingers in the league. He doesn’t bomb on, but in a one-vs-one, you don’t beat him!

“Antony Kay has lost a lot of weight in the summer, he’s looking more agile and now he’s adding goals to his game!

“That was our back four at the beginning of the season which kept three clean sheets. Lady luck was on our side, but I’ll take it.”