Russell Martin was glad Southampton “released the tension” by beating Coventry 2-1 to end a three-game winless run.

Saints’ automatic promotion dreams all but went up in smoke after draws against Middlesbrough and Blackburn sandwiched a last-gasp defeat to rivals Ipswich – leaving them nine points adrift of the top two.

Che Adams netted twice to see them past Coventry and restart the momentum towards a likely play-off finale to the season.

Saints boss Martin said: “That will release a lot of tension. First half we played so well, it was the opposite of Saturday [against Blackburn].

“There was some brilliant football and we should maybe have scored another goal as we created a lot.

“I should have changed things a bit earlier when players were getting tired but conceding in that moment was a bit disappointing – and Stu Armstrong apologised for not being where he needed to be.

“We should kill the game off and there was a bit of tension, but we showed resilience and character and I’m proud of the boys.

“It was a big response. I said to them that I didn’t want to get questioned about the mentality of the group, I think they showed spirit and character in abundance tonight.”

Adams is claiming Saints’ opener after the Scotland international got in the way of Kyle Walker-Peters’ 25-yard effort to divert past Bradley Collins.

There was no doubt about the identity of the second, Adams bundling home a corner.

Coventry defender Jake Bidwell calmly slotted in his first goal since January 2023 to set up a nervy ending for the home side but the Sky Blues will bemoan Haji Wright’s 10th-minute penalty miss after the forward slipped as he attempted to convert.

Mark Robins said: “It would it have been a different story had he not slipped for the penalty, but it wouldn’t have been a different story in the first half as we didn’t compete. We didn’t arrive until half-time.

“[Wright’s] absolutely fine. He’s there to take a penalty and he’s a really good penalty taker. It is just unfortunate that he had a slip.

“We needed to decide whether we want to be challengers tonight, and first half we decided we weren’t going to be.

“The penalty miss obviously has an impact. If we score that then the crowd is edgy and that would have given us a foothold.

“We didn’t lay a glove on them for the other 45 minutes. That is what cost us the game.

“There was enough in the second half but in the first half we shot ourselves in the foot.

“It isn’t about anyone else, it is just about us and our results. We can’t look at anyone else, we can’t do anything about it. But what we can do is not play how we did in the first half.”

Che Adams inspired Southampton to a 2-1 victory over fellow Sky Bet Championship promotion chasers Coventry – who missed a penalty.

Striker Adams claimed Saints’ opener after he had deflected in Kyle Walker-Peters’ blast before more decisively bagging a second – both after Haji Wright had missed a spot-kick for the visitors.

Jake Bidwell ended his year-long run without a goal to pull one back, but the hosts held on.

Southampton boss Russell Martin has all but waved the white flag on automatic promotion after two draws and a defeat since the international break and his side currently sit nine points behind the top two with six matches to play.

Coventry fall five points outside of the play-off places as they attempt to make up for their Wembley heartbreak last season.

The Sky Blues had won their previous two away games and since December 23, they had the most wins on the road in the Championship.

It was no surprise then when they started quickly and won a penalty inside 10 minutes when Flynn Downes fouled the underlapping Joel Latibeaudiere.

Wright stepped up, aiming to bag his fifth goal in his last four away games, but slipped on approach. His shot came back off the crossbar but would have most likely been disallowed anyway for a double contact.

It woke Saints up and after having a penalty of their own turned down, they went ahead in the 18th minute. Walker-Peters struck from 25 yards before it bounced off Adams’ back to beat Bradley Collins, with both claiming the goal.

There was no debate over the scorer of the hosts’ second 20 minutes later as Adams bundled in from a corner.

After David Brooks had been denied one-on-one, James Bree had drifted his delivery from the resulting set-piece to find Taylor Harwood-Bellis at the back post. He nodded to Adams who beat his defender by dribbling the ball on his head before thumping home.

Adam Armstrong almost added a third 90 seconds into the second half but Collins pushed his rasping shot wide.

Coventry had to wait almost an hour between shots and Callum O’Hare’s attempt to place one in the top corner from the edge of a crowded box failed to halve the deficit.

Substitute Fabio Tavares went closer when his crashing strike was deflected onto the roof of the goal.

Their perseverance finally paid dividends as Tavares’ sumptuous delivery from the right was side-footed on the volley at the back post by Bidwell – his first goal since January 2023 – but there was not to be an equaliser.

Mark Robins was full of praise for his Coventry side after they ended Leeds’ 15-game unbeaten run thanks to goals from Ellis Simms and Haji Wright.

Joel Piroe pulled a goal back for Daniel Farke’s automatic-promotion chasers but the visitors could not salvage a point as they missed the chance to go top after Ipswich’s 1-0 defeat to Norwich.

It was also an important win for the Sky Blues, who kept pace with the Canaries in the race for the top six.

“I thought they were brilliant really,” said Robins. “We’re coming up against a top team with top players, with pace, with power, with quality.

“The two goals were absolutely brilliant, one from a set play, Ellis is on his toes to finish that one off and the second one is a fantastic ball.

“It’s Josh Eccles’ birthday today, brilliant ball in, great shape on it and Haji (Wright)’s put it in with the outside of his foot and that gave us a bit of a cushion.

“I thought we defended pretty well where you have to, I think we slashed at one or two things during the game but mostly we were pretty good and calm and when we were calm we got a bit more control and had a little bit more of the ball.

“Second half we were without it a lot more than in the first half when we started to tire and then they made changes and brought full international players onto the field, every one of them, to a man, some of them were asked to play in different roles, they’ve done really well.

“They deserve it for their work rate but some of the quality that we showed is really pleasing. The noise was incredible, my ears are ringing and I thought they were outstanding.”

Leeds manager Daniel Farke said his side lacked aggression as they dropped out of the top two with a first defeat since late December.

Farke said: “We started really well into this game, dominated possession, had many good scenes in their box.

“But when you have such a comfortable start you sometimes lose a bit of aggressiveness and greediness and I got the feeling this was the case especially in the first half.

“We dominated against a normally good possession side with 70 per cent possession, had more chances, more shots on target.

“From the statistics, a really good away game but we didn’t win the decisive duels and this was crucial today.

“The first goal we conceded out of our corner kick on the counter-attack, literally the first time they were in our half if I’m honest. Then with their first corner kick they scored out of it.

“We could have been a little bit more smarter and if you give away two goals relatively cheaply then it is always tricky against a really good home side.

“We had a good reaction, scored the first goal, calm finish and would have been happy had he (Piroe) taken his big chance.

“I have to be careful because if you lose the first game of the calendar year in April it is difficult to be over critical after such an outstanding run.

“But I still feel we had a bit more to give, especially in the first half and for that I want them to be a bit disappointed.”

Coventry boss Mark Robins has challenged forwards Ellis Simms and Haji Wright to hit the 20-goal mark following their fine 3-1 victory at Huddersfield.

Simms continued his stellar form in front of goal, hitting a first-half brace to put Coventry in control at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The former Everton frontman has now notched 12 goals in his past nine outings across all competitions.

With 11 minutes left, substitute Rhys Healey pulled a goal back for Huddersfield but Wright made the points safe for the visitors deep into added on time. Both Simms and Wright have registered 16 goals so far this season.

Robins said: “It’s good and they will be pushing to get to the 20-goal mark.

“There are enough games in the season for them to do that and I think that’s a realistic target for them both. It’s there for them.

“Their team-mates are creating chances for them. They are being positive. Hopefully we can keep doing the same and keep getting them into good positions to give them opportunities to score.

“There is friendly rivalry between them (Simms and Wright). It is good to see and the confidence is there.

“They know they are going to score and that’s the level you need to get to as a striker.

“They know they are going to hit the target; they will miss some but, more often than not, they are making good decisions.

“The talent is there for everybody to see and they’ve just got to keep going.”

It is now five matches without a win for Huddersfield as their relegation fears grow.

With seven games left to play, they currently occupy the final spot in the drop zone on goal difference.

Head coach Andre Breitenreiter said: “We had a good start. We had the best chance in the first 15 minutes with Josh Koroma.

“We should take the lead. We need more quality in the final third.

“They scored out of nothing. We were the second winner in every duel.

“We didn’t win enough individual duels in the first half and we spoke about that at half-time.

“Some players didn’t show their best performance today. I made substitutions and they did well and it changed in the second half. They did a great job.

“We knew one goal could change many things. We played more bravely and offensively.

“We then scored after the substitutions and we had the supporters behind us.

“You need a little bit of luck. We tried everything. It was very close in the end.”

Despite their precarious position, Breitenreiter remains confident Huddersfield can stave off the threat of relegation.

“I see the potential and the quality but we have to show the quality to finish and defend the goal,” he added.

“We have to stay together and fight together for survival. We, as a coaching staff, have to do our job.”

Jamaica’s senior Reggae Boyz were denied what would have been an historic run to the Concacaf Nations League final, as they suffered a heartbreaking 3-1 loss to United States in extra-time of a lively semi-final encounter at the AT&T Stadium in Texas on Thursday.

After taking the lead through Greg Leigh’s first international goal in the first minute, the Reggae Boyz defended stoutly to keep United States at bay, until an unfortunate Corey Burke own-goal in the last minute of stoppage time changed the shape of the game.

Burke’s 90+5 goal not only brought the United States back into the contest, but also sent the game into extra time where Coventry forward Haji Wright, who was a second half substitute, scored a brace in the 97th and 110th minutes.

The result means United States remain on course to retain their title, while Heimir Hallgrimsson’s Reggae Boyz will contest a third-place match with the loser of the Panama versus Mexico encounter. The final and third-placed games are scheduled for Sunday.

It was a dream start for the Boyz as, with just over 50 seconds on the clock, Bobby Reid provided a weighted cross that caught United States defence napping and Leigh arrived at the far post to expertly head home.

United States settled into their game and forced the Jamaicans into a defensive posture, which allowed them space to pick their passes in the attacking third, but they failed to produce anything meaningful to bother Andre Blake.

In fact, the combination of Dexter Lembikisa, Dishon Bernard and Joel Latibeaudiere made that possible, as they consistently got in the way of the marauding United States attackers to thwart a few efforts that were going goalward.

The Jamaicans could have doubled the lead in the 20th, but Cephas, who dismissed two defenders on his way into the 18-yard box, belatedly fired his effort straight to Matt Turner, in goal for United States.

United States had an opportunity to pull level two minutes later when Kasey Palmer foolishly gave up possession in a dangerous position and it took a desperate sprint from Latibeaudiere to chase down and deny Christian Pulisic.

The hosts continued to boss possession and again went close to the equaliser, Bernard put his body on the line to deny Malik Tillman and ensured Jamaica remained 1-0 up at the break.

United States maintained their momentum on the resumption and again breached Jamaica’s defence when substitute Gio Reyna squeezed a pass through for Tillman, and it took a timely check from Michael Hector to avert the danger.

From there the United States enjoyed a decent passage of play in which they camped out in the Jamaicans half but were unable to find the equaliser due to faulty shooting for the most parts.

Cephas should have doubled Jamaica’s lead against the run of play in the 63rd, as he got to a loose ball ahead of a defender and got through on goal, but he hit a tame effort straight at Turner.

The Boyz would pay for that missed opportunity when United States with literally the last kick of the game, forced an own-goal when Burke deflected in from Reyna’s corner kick.

From there, one could sense that the writing was on the wall for the Jamaicans, especially given the fact that they were absorbing a whole lot of pressure.

United States inevitably found the lead when Reyna supplied a decent pass through to Wright, who fired past Blake.

Jamaica had an opportunity to get back on level terms in the second half of extra time, but Romario Williams, who got through on goal, couldn’t bring ball under control to get a shot off.

However, Wright had no such issues, as he got on the end of another weighted Reyna pass and made no mistakes from deep inside the 18-yard box.

Despite being down, the Reggae Boyz fought on and created another opening, but Williams, who had space deep inside the 18-yard box, fired over the crossbar and that basically summed up the Jamaicans night in the final third.

Wolves boss Gary O’Neil described the behaviour of Coventry counterpart Mark Robins “disgusting” after he celebrated his side’s remarkable FA Cup quarter-final win in the face of a 13-year-old ball boy.

The Championship outfit stunned their Premier League opponents with two goals in added time to seal a 3-2 victory and book a first semi-final in this competition since they won it in 1987.

It was after Haji Wright’s winner at the death that Robins showed a rare sight of emotion by celebrating in front of a ball boy, who had irked him moments before.

Robins offered an unprompted apology in his press conference after the game, but O’Neil said the teenager was left distressed.

“I was disappointed, I waited for Mark downstairs and spoke to him because I was really respectful at the end, having lost a massive game, waited for them to finish their celebrations, shook everyone’s hands, congratulated them on a real good performance, reaching Wembley and what a fantastic achievement it was,” O’Neil said.

“And he apologised, but to celebrate in a young boy’s face like that I thought was disgusting, the boy is really upset. It shouldn’t happen, but I don’t have too much to say about it because we have lost and it’s going to seem bitter.

“But I thought it was really important to speak to Mark about it because they are just kids doing a job.”

Robins was regretful afterwards and admitted to letting his emotions get the better of him.

He said: “I have an apology to make, before the winner went in, the ball boy has the ball, a young kid, so I am apologising to him, he has the ball in his hand, drops it and walks away smiling.

“It really annoyed me, but he’s a kid, at the end of the day I have reacted, we scored the goal and I went and celebrated in front of him.

“I apologise to him. I do not show emotion very often and before that happened I apologise to him, I don’t show emotion very often but that is what the FA Cup does to you. I apologise to him unreservedly to him.”

It is little surprise Robins was emotional given the manner of an unbelievable climax at Molineux.

It looked like they would be leaving with broken hearts after two goals in the final 10 minutes from Rayan Ait-Nouri and Hugo Bueno overturned Ellis Simms’ opener and seemed to set a Wembley date for Wolves.

But the Sky Blues were not done and in nine minutes of time added on they turned the last-eight tie around again, with Simms grabbing a second and then Wright earning himself folklore by grabbing the winner.

They are into just a second semi-final in this competition, with the last one coming en route to lifting the cup 37 years ago.

With some of the teams still left in this year’s edition, Robins is not overly optimistic of a repeat of that famous win over Tottenham.

Asked if he thought they could win the competition, Robins said: “Did you say win the competition? You do realise who is left in?

“Well, we have got a small chance. We are going to Wembley and we are going to enjoy that game, I don’t want to go there and just make the numbers up. We know, are not stupid, the levels go up all of the time.”

Coventry manager Mark Robins was a relieved man after his side came from behind to beat Watford 2-1 with two Haji Wright goals at Vicarage Road.

Robins admitted he considered making changes in the first half, such was the disjointed nature of his side’s display.

But Wright’s penalty in the 40th minute cancelled out Ryan Porteous’ headed opener before the United States international completed the turnaround.

Robins said: “Watford played well in the second half the other night and carried that on. They have got some really talented individuals with a lot of pace and power who can hurt you. Thankfully they didn’t.

“But I thought we were poor in the first half. We didn’t start well enough. We didn’t have enough of the ball and then they scored out of nothing when we didn’t really compete for the header.

“Their goalkeeper bringing down Josh Eccles for the penalty gave us a lifeline. I was contemplating making changes before half-time before that because there were too many times when they had two-v-ones.

“The second half followed a similar pattern, except we were a little bit better. Then we scored with the best bit of play in the game.

“Haji has the confidence to take on that shot and thankfully he found the corner of the net.”

Robins acknowledged his team’s FA Cup quarter-final away at Wolves next Saturday made victory imperative in order to keep pace with their play-off rivals. Coventry now have a 20-day hiatus between Championship fixtures.

Robins added: “I’m delighted with the three points at this stage of the season. That’s what it’s all about.

“The Championship is so much better this season with the quality it has, so your levels have to be higher to get anything from games.

“Three points was a must today and I’m grateful that we got them. We’ve got the FA Cup next week while other teams play, so you have to think that they’ll pull away a bit and we will have to play catch-up after the international break.”

For Watford manager Valerien Ismael, the frustration at another home defeat was obvious. His side’s last league victory at Vicarage Road was on November 28.

Ismael said: “Finally we started strong in a home game and we continued from the second half against Swansea. We took the decision to have a mobile midfield again and had a great start with lots of chances.

“We should have scored a second goal, but then from nowhere they got the penalty. In the second half we continued to push, but they scored from their only shot on target, so it’s a real pity today.

“But we saw good energy and good dynamic on the pitch to change the way things are going at the minute.

“We had some crosses too high, some crosses too low, some crosses blocked, but at least we tried and our game was back.

“We didn’t see anything from Coventry today. It was just one of those days when things run against you.

“We kept pushing and we were dangerous, but when things don’t go your way, you start to think too much again. We know that we can compete, but it is about confidence, too.”

Haji Wright scored twice as Coventry came from behind to beat Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road.

The FA Cup quarter-finalists do not play another Championship fixture until March 29 and needed the three points to remain in the Championship play-off picture.

United States international Wright converted a 40th-minute penalty to cancel out Ryan Porteous’ headed opener and then struck a composed 72nd-minute winner from the edge of the area.

The result was harsh on Watford, whose vibrant and energetic display belied their recent poor run of form.

Valerien Ismael’s side have now won just one of their past 10 league games and are in danger of being sucked into the increasingly-congested relegation battle.

Watford began positively, with an Edo Kayembe shot through the legs of a Coventry defender that was tipped away by the outstretched left hand of Brad Collins.

After Ismael Kone had pushed another effort just wide, the home side took the lead in straightforward fashion after 20 minutes.

A Ryan Andrews long throw found the head of Porteous, whose flick dropped over Collins and into the far corner.

At the other end, Wright took advantage of two Watford players running into each other, but he could only find the midriff of Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann with his shot.

Having been outplayed for most of the half and looking disjointed, Coventry suddenly drew level.

Josh Eccles received a short pass from Ellis Simms before beating Porteous and then having his legs taken away by Bachmann, who had come rushing rashly out of his goal. Wright struck his spot-kick firmly into the corner.

The equaliser meant Watford extended their remarkable record of leading at half-time on just two occasions this season, the fewest of any club in England’s top four divisions.

With an FA Cup quarter-final at Wolves next weekend giving them a 20-day league hiatus, this felt like a match Mark Robins’ side needed to win.

Instead, it was Watford who continued to create the clearer opportunities, with another Kone shot followed by a Wesley Hoedt header that was held by Collins.

The Coventry keeper then stood firm at the near post to stop a strike from the impressive Yaser Asprilla.

But, just as they had in the opening period, Coventry conjured up a goal out of nothing.

Eccles played in Wright on the edge of the area and his shot was low and true into the bottom corner for his 13th league goal of the season.

Watford continued to press but lacked the ability to carve out any clear-cut openings before the final whistle that was greeted by boos from those home fans who remained inside Vicarage Road.

Carlos Corberan recognised the significance of West Brom’s win over Coventry as they moved seven points clear of the play-off chasing pack.

Mikey Johnston’s stunning strike handed Albion an early lead before Grady Diangana put them two up at the break.

Coventry came back and Haji Wright halved the deficit from the spot but despite late pressure Albion held out for a key three points to stretch their to-six cushion ahead of Saturday’s fixtures.

Baggies boss Corberan said: “An important result, it was important to win today.

“We were dominant in the first half, we found solutions to break the press and we controlled the ball in the middle of the pitch, without having too many opportunities.

“But the opportunities we had we finished them with a lot of accuracy.

“I knew the second half was going to be a challenge because they were aggressive in the middle in the first half and we lost the ball, and we needed to avoid that in the second half, it would be one of the keys of the game.

“Little by little we started to lose control of the ball and control of the game. They found options to be more in our (half) than the way we wanted to play.

“In the penalty they achieved an action in one minute when there was a lot of time to play.

“We then rediscovered control of the game when we changed to play with a five.

“We know that every game is going to be key with the value of every game being the same with three points.”

Sky Blues boss Mark Robins said his side’s first-half display was a “nothing performance”.

He said: “I think in the first half we were too passive. We couldn’t get out and gave them too much of the ball and they are a quality team, let’s face it.

“They’re in the play-offs for a reason, they have a strong squad with players who have know-how and little bits of nous, good quality and confidence.

“We did have three good chances in the first half but in the second we were more aggressive, the mindset changed.

“We didn’t move well enough, it was a nothing performance in the first half.

“In the second it was much, much better, we managed to get hold of the ball, got back in it with the penalty, and we had enough time to get back in the game but we conceded two poor goals.

“We had bodies in there for Johnston’s goal and Diangana ghosts in too easily.

“And we didn’t lay a glove on them in the first half – but Ben (Wilson) hasn’t had a save to make.

“Then late on we didn’t have a calmness.”

West Brom moved seven points clear of the Sky Bet Championship play-off chasing pack thanks to a narrow 2-1 win over top-six rivals Coventry.

Celtic loan star Mikey Johnston scored another wonder goal to hand Albion an early lead before Grady Diangana doubled their advantage.

Substitute Haji Wright scored from the penalty spot for Coventry, but it was West Brom who took the spoils to strength their play-off ambitions.

The hosts led after just seven minutes after Johnston showed again exactly why head coach Carlos Corberan brought him to the club.

Johnston picked up the ball out wide before dancing past a number of Coventry defenders and curling home beyond Ben Wilson.

Albion enjoyed much of the early pressure but, after a couple of warning strikes from distance, Josh Eccles almost finished off a neat short-corner routine from the visitors.

The ball was worked out to the edge of the area, however, his curling effort was mistimed and it dropped just wide of the post.

Kasey Palmer then went close from distance before the home side extended their advantage 10 minutes before half-time.

Tom Fellows got himself half a yard on Jay Dasilva and was able to cut a cross back to Diangana, who volleyed in off the inside of the post.

It was a clinical display from Albion in the first period – with their only two opportunities conjuring up a two-goal advantage.

Coventry made a half-time substitution, with Wright replacing Callum O’Hare, but it did not change the complexion of the game in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

Diangana headed a Johnston free-kick wide before Conor Townsend’s effort from distance deflected over.

At the other end, a snapshot from Victor Torp drew a smart save from Alex Palmer as the visitors began to get a foothold in the game.

Coventry midfielder Palmer tested the West Brom goalkeeper and Torp went closer from distance before the Sky Blues halved the deficit with 18 minutes left.

Palmer was upended by Cedric Kipre in the box and substitute Wright stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Ellis Simms then spurned a chance to level shortly after, with Albion starting to shake in the wake of the spot-kick.

Simms fired over again as the clock ticked down as Coventry sensed a late equaliser.

Eccles saw an effort deflect wide as the Sky Blues pressured late on, but West Brom stood firm.

Coventry manager Mark Robins heaped praise on match-winner Ellis Simms after his side kept themselves in the Sky Bet Championship play-off places with a hard-fought 1-0 win away at struggling Stoke.

Simms, a summer signing from Everton, followed up his goal in the 2-2 draw with Plymouth on Wednesday by settling the contest at the Bet365 Stadium.

The winner came in the 51st minute when Haji Wright caught Ki-Jana Hoever in possession and prodded the ball to Callum O’Hare, who played in Simms to slot home.

Victory consolidates the Sky Blues’ sixth-placed standing on goal difference on 51 points.

“We’ve had to dig in because it wasn’t a great game,” Robins said. “There wasn’t really much quality on show.

“I think really the bits of quality that were on show, Ellis Simms, I thought, was involved in all of them. I think his goal was brilliantly taken.

“I think he’s got confidence from the goal on Wednesday evening, and really they’re not easy those because you’ve got a lot of time to look at it and he found the back of the net really well to complete the move.

“Hadji on the back of him (Hoever) has nicked it from him, Callum O’Hare releases him really quickly and he goes and puts it into the net – brilliant finish.”

Coventry did come agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock early on, with Jack Bonham saving well from Wright’s header via a deflection off Ben Wilmot before blocking Simms’ effort.

The rebound fell kindly to O’Hare, who looked certain to score, but Wilmot – making his 100th appearance for Stoke – was on the line to divert the ball onto the post and away.

“They threw some bodies behind it, but I don’t know how we’ve not scored,” Robins added. “And really, we would have opened the game up then.

“But again, you have to show concentration and it just looked like a really tired performance from both teams because of the amount of games that we’ve got.”

Defeat for Stoke means they have now lost five of their last six games, leaving them in 19th place and just three points clear of the relegation zone.

“I thought it was quite a close game, quite tight,” manager Steven Schumacher said. “There wasn’t a lot in it between the two teams.

“It was just an error that’s decided it, which is obviously disappointing from our point of view.

“But I can’t fault the players’ effort. I thought they gave everything. I think the players who started competed and had to try and keep a really good Coventry team relatively quiet.

“And then I think the subs who came on in the last half an hour gave us some energy and played with a good tempo, but unfortunately that one moment has decided it.”

Despite ending a four-match losing streak last time out with a 1-0 victory over QPR, it’s now just three wins in 19 league matches for Stoke, who face a real battle to avoid the drop.

“It’s important that we don’t lose our belief,” Schumacher added.

“It’s not the end of the world. I understand no one wants to lose games of football. We don’t want to come in here and accept that we lose another game at home – far from it.

“But the fans will accept it if the players give 100 per cent, and they definitely did do that today.”

Coventry boss Mark Robins heaped praise on Callum O’Hare after the midfielder scored a brace in the 4-1 win against Sheffield Wednesday which set up a FA Cup fifth round-tie against non-league minnows Maidstone.

O’Hare’s double came after Kasey Palmer had opened the scoring 17 days after he was the target of racial abuse at Hillsborough, while Bailey Cadamarteri had earlier equalised for the Owls.

Haji Wright capped off a devastating eight-minute spell in the second half to make it 4-1 at the CBS Arena.

“His (O’Hare’s) goals were brilliant,” said Robins.

“In the first half he’s had a couple of opportunities and he’s just missed, you can see the disappointment that he’s not hit the target. He’s made the keeper make a save from one and he’s had one that hit the stanchion so he wasn’t too far away.

“I thought the overall play, some of the one-touch passing and the movement and the calmness and patience, there was some brilliant football played and I was delighted, a really good performance.”

The rout sets up a mouthwatering game against sixth-tier Maidstone, the lowest ranked team left in the competition.

Robins added: “We’re looking forward to it greatly, they’ve done brilliantly.

“George (Elokobi) has done a fantastic job in getting Maidstone to this round, they’re on our level on the day, they’ll be on our level, we’ve got to take it really seriously, which we always do, and give them the respect that they deserve, they’re on the same pitch as us so we need to make sure we approach that game as we always do.”

On the win over Wednesday, Robins added: “Obviously this tie has been spoken about, the game up there in the league wasn’t great and we’ve spoken about that a lot so to progress in this tie against these was very sweet, the only sour note was Di’Shon Bernard’s left a shoulder in on Jamie Allen’s cheek and fractured his cheekbone.

“Kasey’s goal was a brilliant goal but he’s been calm and been patient just until that moment when he could get a shot away and he found the bottom corner.

“Second half was where we settled down a little bit and took control. I thought we took complete control but some of the play was outstanding, from top, top players who were enjoying themselves.”

Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Rohl bemoaned the eight-minute spell which meant his side were beaten comfortably after making nine changes after their 4-0 thrashing at Huddersfield on Saturday.

Rohl said: “In the first half we played well with Coventry, it was a good game to see, but then again in eight minutes, three conceded goals, this is hard to take.

“This is what we have to learn, we spoke after Huddersfield about this situation, if you concede one then it’s about OK, be strong, make the basics right then come again.

“In the first half the reaction was great, we came back in this game, it was still open but then you see also I think the difference in the final third again today and I think this is where we are, we try a lot but they can make one movement and smart pass to make it 2-1, but this is at the moment the difference.

“When I look back there are some different goals, today we conceded the first after losing the ball where it’s dangerous, the second, third and fourth goal is when we are organised and in deep position, this is about how we protect our goal.

“Full focus on the league, that was my message after the game. Sixteen games to go, 48 points to take, this is our goal, this is our challenge what we have.

“We need results, we know this, after Huddersfield we had a good day with the team, from tomorrow we need to move forward.”

Coventry will host National League South Maidstone in the fifth round of the FA Cup after Callum O’Hare netted a brace in a 4-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

The fourth-round replay signalled the third meeting between the sides in 17 days, the first of which was marred by racist abuse directed at Sky Blues midfielder Kasey Palmer.

Palmer wasted no time in opening the scoring against the Owls before Mark Robins’ men were pegged back by Bailey Cadamarteri’s strike inside 10 minutes.

But three goals in eight second-half minutes, including two from O’Hare and one from Haji Wright, means Coventry will host Maidstone, the lowest-ranked side left in the competition.

The Stones became the first club from outside the top five tiers of English football to reach the FA Cup fifth round since Blyth Spartans in 1978 when they beat Ipswich 2-1 at Portman Road in one of the great recent cup upsets.

Coventry got off to a fine start as Viktor Torp nipped in to dispossess Bambo Diaby inside three minutes and slid in Palmer, who waltzed unchallenged into the Wednesday box before slamming home.

Danny Rohl made nine changes to his Owls side who were hammered 4-0 by Huddersfield at the weekend and they responded well to going behind when Mallik Wilks scuffed off target before Michael Ihiekwe’s header was diverted wide.

A mix-up in the Coventry box led to the Wednesday equaliser after Wright’s clearance hit the midriff of Josh Eccles, and Cadamarteri reacted quickest to pounce on the loose ball and squeeze in the equaliser.

Eccles was heavily involved in Coventry’s best chance to reclaim their lead before the break, winning possession high up the field before Wright poked agonisingly wide.

O’Hare also went close to putting the Sky Blues ahead for a second time when his curled effort rattled the stanchion behind the goal.

After the break came the devastating spell that killed the game.

After netting the opener, Palmer picked out O’Hare and the midfielder had time to turn and slot his effort past 18-year-old Pierce Charles to re-establish Coventry’s lead less than five minutes after the restart.

The former Aston Villa midfielder had his second of the evening seven minutes later when he latched onto a loose ball and bent a fantastic effort into the far corner.

Less than 60 seconds later the tie was over for good when Wright met Jay Dasilva’s tantalising cross and glanced his header into the far corner to secure the Sky Blues’ place in round five of the FA Cup for the first time since 2018.

Southampton forward Sekou Mara’s quickfire second-half double in the 3-0 FA Cup replay victory over Watford booked a fifth-round trip to Liverpool.

The Championship high-fliers extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 24 matches when Che Adams teed up the 21-year-old Frenchman in the 52nd minute.

Mara, who had been linked with Sheffield United in the January transfer window after making just one league start this season, doubled his tally six minutes later with his fifth goal in nine appearances, before Adams wrapped things up 14 minutes from time.

Coventry coasted to a home tie against non-league Maidstone after three goals inside nine second-half minutes dispatched Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday 4-1.

Kasey Palmer’s early opener for the hosts had been cancelled out by Bailey Cadamarteri’s 10th-minute equaliser but the game turned immediately after half-time as Callum O’Hare scored twice, with Haji Wright adding the fourth.

Swansea interim head coach Alan Sheehan was proud of his side after Liam Cullen’s last-gasp free-kick earned a 2-2 draw at Coventry.

Liam Walsh had put Swansea ahead in the seventh minute before they were pegged back by Haji Wright.

Ellis Simms then fired the Sky Blues in front before Cullen’s superb free-kick in the third minute of added time.

The point came after the Swans had been hammered 5-0 by former head coach Russell Martin and Southampton on Boxing Day.

Sheehan said: “We had to hang in there at times but how we finished the last 10-15 minutes I really liked and I think we deserved a point.

“They just kept on fighting and that’s the proudest thing I can say about them.

“We wanted a response, a lot of things have gone against us in the last couple of days in terms of the result, sickness running through the camp with a lot of lads up all night sick.

“The manner of the goals conceded is incredibly disappointing but for large amounts of the first half I saw a team that I really like watching.

“We just wanted a reaction, to draw a line under it, show how we get better, can we start building a structure? I thought for large amounts of the first half and as we went into the second you saw a real identity to what we wanted to do today.”

Swansea have been without a head coach since Michael Duff was sacked on December 4, as Sheehan took charge of his sixth match.

He added: “They’re looking for the right person. Different clubs do it different and they appoint straight away but there’s a lot of people interested in this job.

“I think it’s very important the club and board get the right person to drive this club forward.

“I’m enjoying it, it’s hard and a really difficult time in terms of travelling and time away from family, a lot of sacrifices but I believe our work has been meticulous and we at least deserved a point for that.”

Despite the last-gasp equaliser, which prevented Coventry from making it three straight wins, manager Mark Robins claimed that it was a point gained for the Sky Blues.

“You don’t gain anything until the final whistle, so we’ve gained a point,” said Robins.

“The goal was poor, the wall was not set quite right, there was too much of a gap there and he just played it through it.

“We’ve played pretty well, at times we’ve had some good moves, created good chances, took some really good chances and then just maybe a little bit more concentration sees us through.

“We didn’t have enough control in the game for the last five minutes or so, there were times in the game where we did and we started to get on top and we got our noses in front.

“We conceded the goal early on but the reply was really quick, a really incisive move and a really good finish from Haji.

“The second half was too open but then the changes that I made had an impact.

“We’re disappointed that we’ve conceded that goal. Firstly the free-kick in the first place and then letting them have the gap to hit the corner.

“It was a consequence of the weight of the pressure because we didn’t get hold of the ball in the front area which allowed them to keep picking it up and keep coming at us, so that’s frustrating.

“They’ve worked really hard, the third game in a really short space of time and we were a couple of minutes away from three points.”

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