Date: 25th September 2018 at 8:56pm
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A three-goal blitz during the first-half of Coventry City’s match at Bristol Rovers on Saturday afternoon was enough to secure three points for the struggling hosts and leave Sky Blues boss Mark Robins frustrated with his side after a bright start was forgotten in the midst of a 16-minute spell that ended any possibility of a third straight victory in League One.

“I’ve never seen a game like that,” he said.

“I’m left here scratching my head and you can’t legislate for the way we started and the chances we created.

“We gave them the three points, they didn’t have to work for them.”

There will always be inconsistency and unexpected lows along the way, especially for a side that finished seventh in League Two last season, but Robins will see this is as a preventable defeat ahead of a big, televised, clash against Sunderland at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday lunchtime.

A large travelling support will be on the march from Wearside early in the morning and the game will have the feel of a Championship clash displaced to a lower division.

How City perform in it, against the pre-season favourites for promotion, will give an indication as to whether they can imagine being in the second-tier next season and Robins will take heart from the way his side rose to the occasion when required last season against Notts County in the play-off semi-final and at Wembley when promotion was secured.

He may well have Jodi Jones at his disposal, from the bench at least, after the creative spark made an appearance for the Under-23’s at Ipswich on Monday evening but it will be the manner of goals conceded that is playing on the manager’s mind against a Sunderland side who returned to form in good style at the weekend with a 4-1 win against Rochdale.