Coventry City are already close to their points target after a hugely encouraging start to their Christmas run-in to the halfway stage of the season.

Manager Mark Robins is under no illusions about the task faced by his Sky Blues who managed just eight points from their opening 11 Championship games before this month’s international break.

But City have already made up valuable ground in their opening three matches of their nine-game block to Boxing Day.

Robins’s men have had a tough and testing start to life in the second tier, having now played all top seven sides in the division, but now face a run of fixtures against teams around and below them, starting with bottom of the table Derby County on Tuesday night, followed by fellow promoted sides Rotherham on Saturday and Wycombe next week.

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That task was made all the more difficult by several injuries and absences, and fact that they continue to be without leading scorer Matty Godden.

The City boss, however, knew there must be a vast improvement going into the post international break schedule to take the club to the midway point of the campaign.

And he’ll be delighted with the five point haul from the first three games, having drawn against Birmingham and Norwich, and beaten Cardiff.

“The nine games are huge,” said Robins, talking about the run of games from Birmingham to Sheffield Wednesday on December 19.

Coventry City manager Mark Robins (left) and assistant manager Adi Viveash

“They’re massive!

“That takes us up to 20 games. We have got to be around about a point a game at the turn of the league, so we have to try to be up there.

“If we can do that, then fine. If not then we have got a second half of the season where we have really got to go at it.

“But we will get better anyway. I know that and you can see that we’re getting better gradually.”

City are within touching distance of that point a game target, currently on 13 points from 14 games ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Pride Park.

“We haven’t picked up enough points away from home yet,” said Robins, whose side have earned just two points on the road (Barnsley and Norwich), having lost five.

“We want to keep improving. It’s still early days and no-one is getting carried away. We don’t get too high when we’ve won and don’t get too low when we lose.

“We just want to go there with the same idea and try to get three points.”

He added: “I think things have been coming together since the start. It takes time. This is a process and once we have everyone fit it gives us a better chance.

“We have another difficult period to come. Look at Cardiff, they went and thumped Luton 4-0 at the weekend.

“But give me this league any day of the week over what we have been used to over the last few years, and let’s try to improve and really attack it.”





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