Coventry’s Tatsuhiro Sakamoto suffers ‘terrible’ injury in Preston defeat

By Sports Desk February 23, 2024

Coventry boss Mark Robins said winger Tatsuhiro Sakamoto suffered a “terrible injury” during his side’s 3-0 home defeat to Preston.

The 27-year-old landed heavily following a challenge by Andrew Hughes in the first half and was taken off the pitch on a stretcher.

Robins said: “Tatsu’s got a terrible, terrible injury.

“I’m praying and hoping he’s OK because that doesn’t look good at all. They can’t be clear, they’re talking about a pelvic and spinal injury, so I’m just hoping he’s OK.”

The Coventry boss admitted his team were “bullied” from the first whistle to the last as they lost at home for just the second time this season.

Emil Riis thumped a header home in the first minute and was involved heavily in Will Keane’s 12th of the season before Bobby Thomas put through his own net after 38 minutes.

Robins said: “We got bullied. From minute one to minute 98 we got bullied. That’s what I put it down to.

“There’s physical games and then there’s tonight. That was more like when I played, that was like what we used to play in and we just didn’t cope with it.

“We’ve had physical performances before and we’ve been fine, but for whatever reason we just looked disjointed, we looked like a team of individuals and that’s as far away from a performance of any of my teams as it’s ever been, it was poor.

“I take responsibility for everything, the performances have got to be better than that and that was far away from a good performance, but sometimes football kicks you in the teeth.

“We have to get back as quick as we can. The good thing for us is we’ve got a game on Monday (against Maidstone in the FA Cup). There’s a big, big challenge there on Monday against a side that’s going to want to come and do the same thing and put us on the back foot, but we’ve allowed that to happen.”

Preston manager Ryan Lyon hailed a “top performance” from his team.

“Front foot from minute one, set-play goal that we worked on, I couldn’t have asked for any more really,” he said.

“Coventry are a good team, they had a go to be fair, I just thought we were better all round. I thought the lads were fantastic.

“I’m over the moon for the boys, but it’s just another win, it takes us closer to the points tally that we set yesterday, what we did last time.

“We’ve always played different types of football, I think sometimes you have to pay the opposition respect. Coventry are an attacking force who score goals at home, but they couldn’t get near what they want tonight.

“Whatever brand it is, it’s just about winning football matches. The belief has just shot through the roof because of the results they’ve been getting and long may that continue.

“We’ve got 10 or 11 weeks to give it our best shot, the lads have set another target and we’ll just go for that target. I don’t want to get too carried away.

“If we can keep doing the right things, there’s teams that will want to shoot you down, but we’re coming up against teams around us and let’s just give it our best shot.”

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