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Mark Robins confirms injury worries as Coventry City loanee is praised; Coventry City news / All the latest Sky Blues news, views, gossip and analysis as Robins goes into detail on two key injuries and heaps praise on Aston Villa starlet.

Byline: Andy Turner

Mark Robins has revealed that Coventry City captain Liam Kelly's injury is not as bad as first feared.

The Sky Bluesboss says the skipper's initial diagnosis was that he might require surgery that could keep him out for up to three months like team-mate Josh Pask.

But after a settling down period, the ankle injury sustained at Oxford last weekend will keep him sidelined for a matter of weeks rather than months.

Robins, who this week drafted in Liam Walsh on loan from Bristol City to help cover for Kelly, says the best case scenario is two to three weeks but it could be anything up to six.

"He's picked up an ankle injury that is going to rule him out for a while -- anything between three, four, five, six weeks," he said, "although he has taken his protective boot off now.

"Hopefully he will be back quicker than that but we had to do something, hence the decision to bring in Walsh who is just an outstanding footballer who gets you on the ball and moving.

Revealed: This is how long Coventry City will be without captain Liam Kelly

As well as Liam Kelly, Robins also told reporters that Michael Rose picked up a knock against Blackpool and they will have to 'wait and see' the severity.

"We have just got to wait and see the extent of his groin injury. He didn't feel it go pop, just said it felt tight so I will keep my fingers crossed that it's nothing too bad.

"Obviously Dominic Hyam was out today so he will be looking at that and thinking he has a chance to get back in, which is brilliant for us because we have got three outstanding centre-halves there.

"I don't think they had too many opportunities on goal and the fact that they were so much bigger than us was a concern before the game, but I think they've handled that really well.

"We have got really tough games coming up but we can look forward to them because of the way that we play."

'Wait and see' Mark Robins on Coventry City's two key injury worries

Coventry City appear to have a genuine match winner on their hands after Aston Villa loan star Callum O'Hare stepped off the bench to score in consecutive league games.

The 21-year-old bagged in the 90th minute to secure a 3-2 victory over Blackpool and fire the Sky Blues to second in League One just a week after handing Mark Robins's men a 3-2 stoppage time lead at Oxford United.

Cityshot themselves in the foot that day when right-back Fankaty Dabo then scored a second own goal to deny O'Hare the glory, but the attacking midfielder earned all the plaudits on enemy soil at St Andrew's, where Coventry are ground sharing this season amid an on-going stadium row that means they aren't playing at their rightful home, the Ricoh Arena.

"What impressed me today was his goal and fact that he won the game," said delighted manager Robins, whose side showed what he called "immense character" to battle back from 2-0 down in a frantic first half that ended all square at the break.

"He's a talented player and just fits the type of game that we want to play, and he does it really well."

O'Hare has been largely used as an impact player after joining from Premier League Villa last month, Robins believing he needs to build up his match minutes to get him up to speed after limited game time in pre-season.

"He's got energy and he uses that really well because he's a clever player as well," said the City boss, who is clearly keen to get him involved as much as he can during his season-long loan."

'Get used to it' Mark Robins offers his verdict on Coventry City loan ace

When Liam Walsh joinedCoventry Cityas a surprise deadline day loan signing he was sold as a player who would provide strength in depth to the squad.

And while that is clearly true, the real reason emerged on Saturday that the 21-year-old had been drafted in as emergency cover after Sky Blues skipper Liam Kelly had suffered a potentially long-term ankle injury.

As it turned out, although the captain could be out for anything between two to six weeks, his initial diagnosis is far from as bad as first feared leaving the manager with plenty of options and competition in the middle of the park.

Rather astutely, Robins has ensured that the former Everton Academy star signed for the entire season.

So how did he do on his big debut for the Sky Blues against Blackpool?

With big and experienced boots to fill, Walsh looked, understandably, a little nervous to begin with in a hit and miss first half from the young player who was deployed in the centre of the midfield three in between Zain Westbrooke and Jordan Shipley.

Although he showed some neat and tidy touches and passes in tight areas in the middle of the park, his attempt to hit longer range passes to play the wide players in behind didn't always come off.

The move for Blackpool's second goal came as a result of Walsh being caught and overpowered in midfield, enabling the visitors to break at speed into the box before recycling possession and finding the back of the net.

But the Bristol City loan man didn't let that define his debut and promptly dusted himself down and got on with the game -- a clear sign of his character and determination to do well.

'Get used to it' Mark Robins offers his verdict on Coventry City loan ace

"It was a strange game in fairness because they scored with a freak goal in the first minute and we just looked a bit, I wouldn't say nervy, but we just looked a little bit reluctant to pass the ball.

"We obviously had a new starter in there with Liam Walsh and that just changed the dynamic of it, but I think the second goal that they scored came on the back of some decent play from us without really getting it going.

"I am happy to come back from two goals down given the manner in which the game started, which was outstanding, first and foremost, because to do that showed great character.

"And the belief we got from coming in at 2-2 at half-time just changed the whole dynamic. We spoke at half-time about being on the front foot mentally and playing the way we know we can do, and having that belief in themselves.

"And they came out and they were outstanding, absolutely outstanding, from the first whistle in the second half to the last.

"Even though they went down to ten men when we scored the third goal we were building pressure before that, and the way we played and were trying to get in was really, really good.

"Callum O'Hare got his goal, which was great to see go in, and Gervane Kastaneer had a couple of chances after that to seal it but I think that would have been really harsh on Blackpool who are a really good side.

"They are a physically tough side so I am pleased we have come through it. But, not only that, the manner of the performance in the second half is something we can be really proud of and build on."

'Wait and see' Mark Robins on Coventry City's two key injury worries
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Telegraph (Coventry, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 9, 2019
Words:1256
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