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Monday, April 8, 2019

Bristol Rovers boss Graham Coughlan: We were lucky with Coventry stalemate

Bristol Rovers manager Graham Coughlan admitted he felt a “lucky man” following his side’s goalless draw away to Coventry City.
The hosts dominated the encounter, with Coughlan’s side defending for most of the game as City conspired to squander numerous chances.
Rovers now move three points clear of the League One relegation zone with the draw, and Coughlan conceded that Coventry were the better team.
“We were just waiting on them to score,” he said.
“Coventry were the better team and could have won the game. Our quality in the final third let us down but we got away with it.
“Our quality in the final third deserted us. I feel a tad lucky tonight but over the course of the season that luck that you need shone on us today.”
Rovers goalkeeper Jack Bonham made a string of saves to ensure the point, and Coughlan praised the on-loan Brentford man for his recent performances.
“Jack has been outstanding for us this season,” the Rovers boss added, “He’ll be able to tell you better than me but I think that’s clean sheet number 17 for him this season.
“I have warriors in the back four who got their head on things and kicked every ball. It’s that type of character and spirit that we’re built on, that type of honesty and hard work. That will take us places.”
Coventry had the best chances of the match, with Dom Hyam’s miss from three yards out their best opportunity to keep their play-off hopes alive.
Manager Mark Robins criticised the Ricoh Arena pitch, with the game being played just a day after Wasps had played a Premiership rugby union match against Worcester.
“It’s a really tough surface to play on,” he said, “You can see it doesn’t roll truly and at League One level, that does have an impact on the strikers.
“They need to have an extra touch. It doesn’t matter at Premier League level, you just keep your eye on the ball, it bobbles up and you hit it because they’ve read the ball. Even then they’ll miss chances, the surface isn’t true.
“We can say we’re disappointed but realistically we’ve done really well, created a lot of chances and it’s just that last little bit we need to get right.”
Robins saw both Tom Bayliss and his replacement David Meyler forced off through injury, and the City boss admitted it was damaging.
“It’s a blow. Tom has a broken wrist. Whether he’ll need a surgical intervention I don’t know. David Meyler has popped his shoulder,” he said.
“You have to deal with that but it means there’s places up for grabs and there’ll be young players getting more chances because that’s where we are.”