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Coventry City 0-0 Stoke City

Twitter says it was a bad result. Stoke are in 7th, likely pushing to get into the big league at the end of the season, and have quality players like Joe Allen. In reflection, Coventry had chances in the first half to steal a goal, as we will explore, but overall the result was a fair result for a resolute performance. 'Gus'

He was the best player on the field today, if you ask me. Here you see him connecting between the lines. Godden's movement away creates space for O'Hare to move into with the ball. Hamer's box-box position also provides the freedom and supply for O'Hare to have more success. He didn't have that against Sheffield Wednesday.

As the phase continued with a recycle of possession, Hamer again gets on the ball and uses the switch to exploit the space created by O'Hare's dribble. Ositgard joined the attack but the Coventry 2v1 advantage is wasted. This was one of 28 occurances of losing the ball.


Coventry played Stoke much like the way Sheffield Wednesday played them last week. Recognizing opportunities would be hard to come by and the fact that we're in 'different leagues' in terms of season aspirations., meant pressing when appropriate. One of those exact moments resulted in a soft Godden shot, but a warning to Stoke and a compliment of the way that Coventry played in the first half:

Stoke are a big team. Just watch the highlights and see the size difference, so goals are always going to be hard to come by. Coventry had few attempts on goal. There was a penalty shout on 10 minutes and a shot from Hamer right at Bursik, along side the moments above, but the potential never really delivered.

Set pieces.

- For early attacking corners, Coventry caused chaos. Surrounding the goalkeeper makes everything just a little more frantic and could create an opportunity, instead of allowing Stoke to mark man to man and likely dominate.

- Then, as a counter to the Stoke set pieces, and a personal favorite, Robins kept three players high. Stoke HAD to react. Robins called their bluff and they kept the third man back to help defend - that is one less player that we would usually face in the box.

- Later on in the game, the corner routine changed to something more familiar. Note Dabo's position to draw attention and leave space in the front post area to attack.

Consider the maturity and inventiveness in this game from Robins and his staff. Maximize what you get, and whilst there were no goals, it demonstrated a thoughtful approach to the game. I also think that Robins might have purchased my Set Piece guide...!