Mark Robins will buck offers for Callum O’Hare

By Sports Desk January 13, 2024

Boss Mark Robins underlined Coventry’s determination to keep star man Callum O’Hare after he inspired the Sky Blues to a stunning late victory over Leicester.

The midfielder netted twice as the hosts scored three goals in the final 11 minutes to beat the 10-man Foxes 3-1.

O’Hare levelled before Milan van Ewijk fired Coventry ahead with two minutes left and then added a third in stoppage time.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s penalty gave Leicester the lead but Abdul Fatawu’s red card in first-half injury time gave Coventry the impetus.

O’Hare’s deal expires in the summer and Robins insisted the club will do everything they can to keep him, with the O’Hare having recovered from a serious knee injury.

Robins said: “You’ve got to wait for that. We can only do so much but we will 100 per cent want to keep him. Whatever happens it won’t be for the want of trying or not wanting to do it from our part.

“Looking at characteristics of people in teams, he epitomises what we want to do. He is brave, goes after things, a good communicator, an effervescent character and has added goalscoring to it.

“He deserves all the plaudits he gets. We missed him greatly.

“I thought we were brilliant. It was one of the best performances we’ve had this season, in many seasons. You have to understand how good the opponent is and then pick the bones out of the performance.

“Even with 11 v 11 we were outstanding.”

The leaders slipped to a first defeat in 11 league games after the Sky Blues’ grandstand finish.

Coventry dominated for long spells – Tatsuhiro Sakamoto hitting the post early – but fell behind a minute before the break.

Van Ewijk lost possession and Bobby Thomas caught Dewsbury-Hall, despite winning the ball first, as he attempted to recover the situation.

Dewsbury-Hall converted from the spot but the Foxes were soon down to 10 men when Fatawu recklessly clattered into Jake Bidwell for a straight red.

Matty Godden headed at Mads Hermansen but Coventry had to wait until 11 minutes from time to start their comeback.

Ellis Simms and Jay Dasilva combined for O’Hare to roll into the corner and van Ewijk put the Sky Blues ahead with two minutes left, firing in from the edge of the box after Leicester failed to clear a corner.

O’Hare then wrapped up the victory when he volleyed in from close range after Godden’s shot was blocked.

Leicester boss Enzo Maresca said: “We played two games, the first half was one and the second half was another.

“The red card changed the game completely. Abdul is very young, he needs to learn many things – in some moments you need to be more calm.

“It’s part of his process and he has to improve many things, at 1-0 up he tried to recover the ball not with the right thing. It happens.

“I feel proud when we win, win, win but today I feel more proud. We continued to play, fight and we didn’t concede important chances until the goal. It’s part of the game, with so many games it can happen.”

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