Bristol Rovers assistant Stewart admits win over Coventry was never comfortable



Posted Sunday, September 23, 2018 by PA

Bristol Rovers assistant Stewart admits win over Coventry was never comfortable

Marcus Stewart admitted Bristol Rovers’ first home league win of the season against Coventry was more nervy than the 3-1 scoreline suggested.

The assistant conceded that the team could have been 3-0 down before opening up a three-goal lead themselves by the 23rd minute of a crazy first half.

And even after goals from Gavin Reilly, Tom Lockyer and Ollie Clarke had deflated Coventry, Dom Hyam’s headed reply just before the interval ensured Rovers could never relax.

“It was a very tense game, even though we went 3-0 up early on,” said Stewart. “In the first five minutes we could have been three down, but for good saves from Jack Bonham, who has been brilliant since joining us.

“We rode our luck and normally when you go three up you feel pretty comfortable. But I certainly didn’t feel like that today.

“It was an edgy 3-0 and when they got a goal back just before half-time we were even more on edge. It was then about managing the game in the second half, which I felt we did quite well.

“They could have had one or two more goals but so could we. That first home league win of the season is so important, especially when it takes a while to come, and it was vital we saw the game out.

“It was great for Gavin Reilly to get his first goal for us. I know myself that however well you are playing as a striker, you need to be hitting the back of the net.”

Coventry boss Mark Robins could barely believe what he was watching as, having dominated the opening exchanges, his side caved in between the seventh and 23rd minutes.

“It was a strange, strange game and I want to look at it again,” he said. “If we take one for our early chances, they go. The supporters would have got on their backs.

“Instead, we concede the first goal, which was a shock, and it’s our supporters getting annoyed. I know how they feel because it was an annoying performance.

“We played some decent stuff at times, but that is irrelevant. It’s a difficult result to take because you look at three stupid errors.

“In the second half we allowed Rovers too much of the ball by giving it away too cheaply. We don’t get given the ball like that.

“We are a decent side, but have had an aberration for 10 minutes in the game. Now the question is can we learn from that because we need to rid ourselves of this type of weird performance.”

Clarke’s goal was the pick, a right-footed screamer from outside the box that found the top corner. Reilly’s was a cool finish when through while both Lockyer and Hyam were allowed headers by poor defending at free-kicks.

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