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Mark Robins’ press conference notes: Coventry City model a shining light in ‘brutal’ Championship

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Millwall and Sunderland have joined the list of Championship clubs making managerial changes this week, a trend lamented by Coventry City boss Mark Robins as “awful.”

Joe Edwards, the manager of Millwall, was dismissed after a stint of 19 games, resulting in 11 defeats since he took over from Gary Rowett at The Den in November. Michael Beale, who succeeded Tony Mowbray at Sunderland in December, lasted only 12 games before his departure, cutting short a two-and-a-half-year contract.

These recent changes mark the 15th and 16th managerial shifts in the division this season. Steven Schumacher, who left Plymouth to join Stoke, is the only manager to have left a club voluntarily. Ironically, Schumacher is now under pressure at Stoke, with five defeats in the last six league games.

Mark Robins, the Sky Blues boss, is the longest-serving manager in the Championship by a significant margin, and ranks third in longevity among all managers in the top two divisions, trailing only Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.

Robins reflects on the recent managerial dismissals with empathy, considering the challenges managers face in such brief stints. He attributes the high turnover of managers to the clubs’ decision-making processes during appointments and the pressures of the league itself. Robins emphasizes the difficulty managers encounter in establishing themselves quickly and the subsequent pressure to perform.

Despite his long-standing presence in the game, Robins doesn’t perceive himself as a mentor to younger managers unless approached for advice. While he maintains good relationships with his counterparts and engages in fruitful discussions, he doesn’t feel compelled to offer guidance unless solicited.

Plymouth Argyle manager Ian Foster deep in conversation with Coventry City manager Mark Robins
In a pre-match conversation at Home Park, Plymouth, Plymouth Argyle manager Ian Foster and Coventry City manager Mark Robins engaged in a discussion about their respective experiences in football management.

Robins expressed genuine interest in the challenges faced by other managers, their coping mechanisms, and the different approaches adopted by various clubs. He highlighted the significance of stability, particularly in his own tenure at Coventry City, and emphasized the importance of realistic goals and ambitions for clubs and managers alike. Robins stressed the need for incremental improvement, acknowledging the necessity of time and continuity to achieve success.

Reflecting on the current season, Robins recognized the achievement of being in contention for the playoffs, especially considering the significant turnover in personnel during the summer transfer window. He noted the competitive nature of the league and the challenges posed by other ambitious teams vying for similar goals.

Robins underlined the ongoing process of building and improving the team, acknowledging the contributions of both existing and new players. He emphasized the need for patience and persistence in achieving long-term success, emphasizing the importance of staying true to the incremental process despite external expectations.

As he approaches his seventh year in charge of Coventry City, Robins highlighted the club’s progress over time and expressed optimism for the future. He emphasized the excitement of being part of a dynamic and evolving process, recognizing the potential for success in the near future.

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