Mark Robins has explained his decision to change his Coventry City goalkeeper, replacing first choice Ben Wilson with summer signing Brad Collins for Saturday’s CBS Arena match with Stoke.
Wilson – who had kept a club record 22 clean sheets, was named in the EFL Team of the Season and awarded the Golden Glove last term – brought an end to 61 consecutive league games for the Sky Blues when he was dropped to the bench in favour of former Chelsea prospect Collins, who joined from League One Barnsley in July.
The 26-year-old promptly kept a clean sheet on his Championship debut for the club, albeit barely tested by a toothless Potters’ attack that managed just two shots on target from a paltry six attempts on goal in the 0-0 draw. Robins explained: “The thinking behind it was I just felt that we needed to alleviate the pressure on Ben. He has done really well for us, and will do again, no doubt, but it’s good to have competition.”
Asked how Wilson reacted to the decision, the manager said: “He responded in the right way yesterday (Fri) and I expect him to do that because you need the competition, otherwise there is no point in having a squad. They’ve got to fight and that makes it healthy.”
“Healthy competition is good competition but you’ve got to be able to see that there is a chance otherwise people’s confidence and attention goes, and you’ve got to give them a pathway for the players that are here. And if they know they are playing, if there is any chance of them getting in, once they are in, they’ve got to take it. And that’s been testament to Brad’s work in the lead-up to the performance today.”
“But, like I say, you make decisions, and he has performed really well. But I didn’t have a problem with it. I knew he would come in and do well. He is a good keeper.”
He added: “There was one save at the end there where the shot was low and coming off the turf and he took it really confidently, and then he got up and thought twice about putting Haji in, who was one v one, and just the execution wasn’t quite right and it went too high. But if he had played a few more games maybe he wouldn’t have thought about it and would have put that into his path.”
“He didn’t do anything wrong. There was one that came over the back of his head from a corner that was an in-swinger that he got his hand to so I’ve got no complaints. A clean sheet in his first performance is no mean feat.”