Mark Robins drafted in Coventry City’s ninth summer signing on Friday with many fans looking forward to getting a first ifollow glimpse of Ben Sheaf at MK Dons in the Carabao Cup.

But the Sky Blues were unable to name the 22-year-old on Saturday’s teamsheet due to red tape following his transfer on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal from Premier League Arsenal.

Much is expected from the dynamic defensive midfielder but the question remains how soon Robins can integrate him into the squad.

“We were waiting for the FA to say it was OK,” said Robins, explaining the paperwork delay that prevented Sheaf from making his debut at Stadium:MK.

City have arranged a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday to get more match minutes in several players’ legs ahead of Saturday’s big Championship kick-off at Bristol City.

Michael Rose is due to play as he ups his comeback from a hip injury, while striker Tyler Walker is also expected to get more game time as he builds his pre-season fitness levels.

As for Sheaf, Robins revealed that he still needs a bit of time before he’s ready to be thrown in to the starting line-up.

“He’s not played since March,” said the City boss.

“So we’re in a situation where we have recruited players who we wanted, and we would have recruited them anyway, regardless, but it’s just going to take a little time to get them up to speed.

“How long depends on them really and how much their bodies can cope. You have to push them to almost breaking point to get them through.

“It’s just that balance and I may have to wait a little longer to get them up to speed. But let’s see how things pan out.”

He added: “We are playing a behind closed doors game on Tuesday against an opposition to give people a game.”

Although new striker Walker went on and scored the winner at the weekend, the summer recruit from Nottingham Forest is being broken in gently, given just 25 minutes in the game as he builds his match fitness.





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