I thought we understood the game and tactically we were superb, as were Coventry. It became a very tactical game with very few chances for either side to break through.Pep Clotet
Pep Clotet on today’s St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium stalemate…
“We knew Coventry would play with a lot of confidence and be a tough challenge, especially defensively. We knew that we would have to build the game making sure that we kept a clean sheet. Even though we are very happy in that department, and we made things very difficult for Coventry to find their flow, we did lack a lot of sharpness in the final third. That’s why we didn’t come out on top, but I think the same can be applied to Coventry. I think the result is fair for both sides. It became a very tactical game, there were no mistakes and probably not the show that everyone who’s come to the game wants to have. But it was important for us to make sure that we were tactically strong and now we have a replay. It gives us another chance to make sure that we prepare better, we correct a few mistakes and we can be brighter up front.”
Pep Clotet on being the away side in his team’s home stadium…
“Of course, it’s a strange feeling to go into the away locker room and warm up in a different area and know that you can’t access the stadium the way that you normally do. Everything can have an effect on the focus, but I saw a team that was very focused on the performance and put all those things to one side. Now we have a replay – and this time we’re at home, so Coventry can experience that now.”
Pep Clotet on his team’s lack of attacking creativity and scoring chances…
“We are normally a team that creates a lot. We ended up with five shots, two on target – the same as Coventry. We needed to be sharper and brighter in the final third. But in all the other areas of the pitch, and giving game time to players who really needed it, I thought we understood the game and tactically we were superb, as were Coventry. At the end of the day, it became a very tactical game with very few chances for either side to break through.”
Pep Clotet on the change to the Blues system, to try and 'disrupt' Coventry...
"Coventry gave us the ability to disrupt them, to play with three forwards.
"I have watched a lot of the game that Coventry have played this season and no one has pressed them like we did.
"Being so brave, defensively, and that gave us the opportunity to have three forwards, knowing that if we regained the ball we would put a lot of problems on the wide areas.
"Playing with two forwards it would have been easier for Coventry to play out and our chances would have been slimmer to have stresses on the backline.
"You saw that Jefferson Montero caused them problems and on the right Kerim Mrabti then Jeremie Bela.
"Any of those chances that got into a one v one, you're talking about a game-changer for us and then you'd be talking about all the risks Coventry were taking against us.
"Tactically it was very good. It was like we did at Middlesbrough, they play the same way as Coventry do, and we were very dangerous in that second-half there.
"We had Jefferson, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Kerim, the three forwards. They weren't dropping, they were putting pressure on the backline."
Pep Clotet on the absence of Dan Crowley and the injury sustained today by Kerim Mrabti…
“He felt his hamstring after the game against Middlesbrough. I really wanted him to play because obviously he’s from Coventry and he would have helped us as well to be a bit brighter up front. Dan has a minor problem with his hamstring which will take a few weeks. Kerim is getting a bit of treatment now on a hamstring injury. It’s not as bad as we thought but we’ll know more in the week.”
Pep Clotet on the prospect of a replay...
“We want to be in the cup. We’ve forced a replay and now we have another opportunity. Every competitive game for us is important and a game that we want to win. It doesn’t matter how many games we have to play in how many days, we welcome it. We don’t complain, we just get through it.”