Soccer

Boss does not add to Liam Kitching’s woe and sees loss as ‘one that’s got away’

Cardiff beat play-off hopefuls Coventry thanks to a brace of own goals from the defender.

Coventry City manager Mark Robins before the Sky Bet Championship match at the John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield. Picture date: Friday March 29, 2024.
Huddersfield Town v Coventry City – Sky Bet Championship – John Smith’s Stadium Coventry City manager Mark Robins before the Sky Bet Championship match at the John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield. Picture date: Friday March 29, 2024. (Ian Hodgson/PA)

Coventry manager Mark Robins refused to place the blame on Liam Kitching after the defender scored two own goals in his side’s 2-1 defeat against Cardiff.

It was a result that damaged the Sky Blues’ chances of reaching the Championship play-offs as they remained four points behind sixth-placed Norwich, who were beaten at Leicester earlier on Easter Monday.

The FA Cup semi-finalists’ run of three league wins in a row was also brought to a shuddering end as they were unable to build on a strong start and Ellis Simms’ opening goal.

Robins said: “Life gives you opportunities sometimes, you’ve got to do everything you can to try and take them. Today feels like one of those that’s got away.

“It [Kitching’s first own goal] is inexplicable, he looks like he’s trying to clear the crossbar with it, rather than move it to the side of the goal, that’s what it looks like to me.

“Sometimes it happens when you’re under pressure and you feel you’ve got to do something, and in that instance you’ve made the wrong decision and the consequences are there.

“I think, to all intents and purposes, that isn’t why we lose the game.

“We had 20 minutes at the end of sort of sustained pressure on them, where we’re trying to get the equaliser.

“We got the one chalked off for offside, but you’ve still got to have that spell where you’ve got to have some bravery.”

Coventry led after 22 minutes when Simms tapped in Milan van Ewijk’s cross for his 11th goal in seven games but Kitching cancelled this out by slamming into the top corner of his own net following a Joe Ralls corner.

Kitching’s miserable afternoon was complete midway through the second half when Josh Bowler’s cross inadvertently deflected in off him.

Cardiff boss Erol Bulut said: “It’s a great victory, in Coventry to win, to come back from 1-0 [down] and win the game was not easy because we’ve seen in Coventry’s last [few] games they’re pushing for the play-offs.

“For us, it’s a big victory and the most important thing is, after the Sunderland game, we’ve shown a reaction.

“It was a great reaction from our team to come back and show this performance.

“We did it [come from behind] a few weeks ago against Ipswich, but it’s not easy when you’ve lost two games in a row: the Swansea derby when the morale goes down and home against Sunderland when everybody was expecting a win.

“So, that’s why it’s really important to come back against Coventry.

“OK, the first goal was luck, the second one was a bigger luck because it’s a cross where the opponent touches it and it went into the goal.”