Mark Robins described his Coventry City players as “outstanding” after they went agonisingly close to taking the full three points against Swansea at St Andrew’s.
A string of late chances could have secured what would have been a deserved victory over their fifth placed opponents who travelled back to South Wales with a point after Andre Ayew cancelled out a superb Jordan Shipley strike just before the break.
“We played against two outstanding teams in Bournemouth and Brentford and then another one tonight, everything we did they’ve tried to put into practice what we’ve spoken about,” he said, reflecting on the 1-1 St Andrew’s draw.
“They played with intensity and aggression, on the front foot, and they moved the ball pretty well.
“The speed was good, there was a scrappy spell of about 15 minutes in the second half, other than that I thought we were outstanding.
“We gave them a real scare and they’re a good team, they’ve just finished in the play-offs, so it’s got to give us a lot of confidence.
“There was one move that was one-touch stuff all the way into the penalty area that led to Callum O’Hare’s chance.
“The only disappointing thing is that we haven’t kept a clean sheet, we’ve conceded a scrappy, poor, goal.
“When you’ve got the quality that these teams possess, Andre Ayew doesn’t miss the target, it’s in the back of the net. But they’ve had one chance and they scored it.”
Robins challenged his players to show more belief and confidence after back-to-back defeats against Bournemouth and Brentford.
“I thought we were much better,” he said.
“I’m delighted with them and we’re disappointed that we haven’t gone on to win it because Callum’s had a great chance at the end and we had Ryan Giles’ shot before that.”
He added: “I’ve got to mention Matty Godden, what a performance that was from him, he didn’t really get a great deal in front of goal, but what a performance.”
“I’m delighted with them, there’s things that you can work on, but for confidence, I think it does them the world of good.
“Matty was brilliant. In everything we did he was a part of it.”
Robins knows, however, there’s still room for improvement, saying: “We still didn’t make the runs in behind him, that’s the next little bit.
“We’ve got to learn to try and anticipate where things might land and not wait but it was outstanding centre-forward play.
“I think we’re still finding our feet in terms of fitness. We’re still not there yet, some of them haven’t played for six months.
“But Sam McCallum has put an unbelievable shift in, he did really well.”