Mark Robins frustrated with treatment of Viktor Gyokeres in draw against Hull



Posted Sunday, March 12, 2023 by PA

Mark Robins frustrated with treatment of Viktor Gyokeres in draw against Hull

Coventry manager Mark Robins demanded more protection for his star striker Viktor Gyokeres after the Sky Blues’ Championship play-off charge took a hit with a 1-1 draw at home to Hull.

Oscar Estupinan opened the scoring for the visitors with a stunning effort before Matt Godden hooked in his fifth goal of the season with 19 minutes remaining.

The draw left Coventry four points off the top six and Robins was left frustrated by Hull’s approach to the game.

“They have come and done a job,” claimed Robins. “They’ve fouled off the ball. Viktor should get a bit more by the way of protection because he is getting smashed off the ball all the time.

“Because it is when the ball is in the other half, the officials are not seeing it. It’s not being picked up by officials. He’s getting hit.

“It’s something he has got to learn to avoid, move away, but they are hitting him, there is no doubt, and it’s having an impact on him.”

It was Gyokeres who provided a seventh assist of the season for Godden, driving to the byline before cutting back for his strike partner to slot between the legs of Karl Darlow in the Hull goal.

Robins added: “He contributes greatly. He is a presence. People know he is a threat and are paying particular attention to him and the way they are dealing with him at the moment.

“We score the first goal we win, simple as that. I thought we moved the ball pretty well, created a number of openings, had the majority of possession, had 21 shots at their goal which speaks for itself.

“We were on top for most part, never felt under any threat until we started to open up a bit to try and get back into the game.”

Hull manager Liam Rosenior made no apology for his side’s treatment of Swedish striker Gyokeres, who he worked with during a spell as assistant coach of Brighton’s under-23 team.

In response to Robins’ comments about the treatment of Gyokeres, Rosenior replied: “That makes me happy, I love Viktor, I worked with Viktor, I gave him a big hug after the game but I’m not going to tell my defenders to let him have the ball, let him turn and have a nice game.

“We showed respect to Viktor in the way we have to deal with him because you have to be physical with the best players. What I didn’t want my centre-halves to do was take two steps back because you can get turned and he can run at you, like he did for the goal.”

The Hull boss, who made 144 league appearances for the club between 2010 and 2015, also praised his top scorer Oscar Estupinan who ended a run of eight games without a goal dating back to mid-January.

He added: “Great team move, great finish, Oscar’s capable of that. His energy levels have dipped and I had to just dip him out of the team but what he knows in the background of that is that I’ve got full faith and confidence in him.

“It was an outstanding finish from him.

“First half we found it tough, I said to the players at half-time we have to take care of the ball more.

“I’m waiting for us to have that second attacking transition, which we get but we don’t take advantage of and with players like Viktor Gyokeres if you are only 1-0 away at Coventry, it doesn’t matter how long is left in the game, you’re always at risk.”

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