Date: 14th February 2018 at 10:09am
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When Coventry City were drawn away to Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup Fifth Round it looked as though the Sky Blues would be travelling to Sussex in carefree mood, able to give the tie their best shot while knowing that a promotion push would be their real focus once the game was over.

But the mood around the club has altered drastically since then, Mark Robins finally losing patience with his players after Tuesday night’s defeat at Colchester made it three consecutive league losses and making the play-offs, rather than promotion, the only hope of leaving League Two this season.

City have had to contend with key injuries throughout the campaign, Tony Andreu before his Sky Blues career had barely begun, Jodi Jones during a hugely productive spell of creativity and now Michael Doyle at a time when the captain could perhaps have provided the impetus to take at least something out of the matches against Accrington Stanley and Colchester even with his side far from their best.

By and large those blows have been dealt with manfully and defeats bounced back from immediately but this time the scales have fallen from the eyes and Robins has clearly seen enough.

His after-match comments at Colchester betray just a hint of what he must have told his players in the dressing room and the late-night arrival back in Coventry would have seemed like it cam after an interminable coach journey.

The atmosphere and support at the Amex Stadium will still be the same and there is still an opportunity for the Sky Blues to pull off a surprise result against a team who may have one eye still on their Premier League campaign.

But the momentum of a team on the up has clearly been lost and the fear is that a comfortable defeat on Saturday will be only the prelude to the season fading away as so many have done before.

Let`s hope the cup can still impart some magic on the underdogs!