Millwall boss on Coventry staying up despite playing home games at Birmingham’s St Andrew’s

GARY Rowett has praised Mark Robins for the “fabulous job” he has done at Coventry as the Sky Blues survived their first season back in the Championship despite not playing in their own stadium.

Robins went back for a second spell in charge in March 2017 but couldn’t save them from relegation to League Two.

The former Huddersfield and Scunthorpe manager guided them straight back up through the play-offs the following season before an eighth-place finish in 2018-19.

Coventry lost just three times last season as they finished top of the table, though after only 34 matches as final placings were decided on a points-per-game basis due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Coventry will be the only side to survive this season after promotion to the Champonshp if Rotherham join Wycombe in going straight back down. They have played their home games at Birmingham’s St Andrew’s but are set to return to the Ricoh Arena next season.

Robins’ side defeated Millwall 2-1 at The Den in January.

“I’ve been really impressed, I think Mark’s done an excellent job,” Rowett said. “We saw it earlier in the season when they performed really well against us, albeit the game was after we had some Covid cases.

“But they were excellent, really bright, lively. They play a good brand of football. What they’ve done is managed to turn that brand of football into enough results to keep them up.

“They’ll be in a much stronger position next year to build again. Mark’s done a fabulous job in the time he’s been at Coventry, as he has elsewhere.

“It will be fantastic for them to get back to their own stadium, but playing at St Andrew’s has not hampered them.

“With the fans coming back next season I’m sure there will be a real clamour to get back to a base and a home.”

Coventry won 2-1 at The Den in January

The Lions go into their last game of the season after a number of positives from the 4-1 win over Bristol City.

Tom Bradshaw scored for the first time since December, Jed Wallace exceeded his best goal total in a season for Millwall, and Ben Thompson returned from injury.

Rowett added: “There were lots of important parts to Saturday, not least Tom scoring. Jed scored again, we saw Thommo out there, Hayden Muller. Hopefully they’ll get more time at the weekend.

“Bradders works so hard for the team. He’s suffered in some ways because when Tom plays as a striker he makes the team better, but sometimes it takes a little bit away from his own performance because he’s so unselfish.

“It’s always that fine line because do you have a striker in there that might not get as many goals but knits the team together really well?

“Or do you have a striker in there that scores goals but the team are weaker by it performance-wise.

“There’s always that balance and there’s always that puzzle to solve.

“But it’s nice he got out there and scored. He did really well in both games, he was excellent against Watford as well.”

Image: Millwall FC