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Coventry City boss talks Sunderland clash and missing out on ex-Black Cats defender

Coventry City boss Mark Robins has delivered his verdict on the opening day clash against Sunderland.

Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:30 pm

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Sunderland are set to face Coventry City at home in their first game back in the second tier in five years. The clash at the Stadium of Light is a lunchtime kick-off on Sunday July 31st, and will be the first time the two sides have met since March 2020.

“We’ve got a difficult trip to start with against Sunderland, but it’s one that will excite everyone I’m sure and it’s a brilliant game to start with,” Robins said. “Then we play Rotherham and Millwall and Wigan, which means we play the three promoted teams in the first four games which is interesting.”

Robins also revealed how Coventry had missed out on signing former Sunderland loanee defender Jake Clarke-Salter. The former Chelsea man endured a tough spell at Sunderland during their ill-fated 2017/18 Championship season.

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: Jake Clarke-Salter of Coventry City reacts after a missed chance during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Coventry City at Riverside Stadium on January 29, 2022 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

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Clarke-Salter played just 11 times for Chris Coleman’s side but was shown two red cards during his time at the Stadium of Light.

“We missed out on Jake Clarke-Salter which was disappointing, but it is what it is,” he said. “There are other players were trying to pursue and we have specific targets and that may change but we’ve got the positions we need to fill.

“I need to carry a slightly smaller squad, but I want more quality where ever I can do and we need to brief that gap to get higher up the table than we did last year.”