EFL Trophy final: Mark Robins says Coventry City 'alive and kicking' after win

Coventry City
Mark Robins (second right) returned to Coventry as manager in March, with City having already qualified for the final

Manager Mark Robins says Coventry's Checkatrade Trophy final victory over Oxford at Wembley was a "phenomenal" way to show the football world that the Sky Blues are "alive and kicking".

League One's bottom club are 13 points adrift of safety with six games to play, starting with Wednesday's trip to leaders Sheffield United.

"We know the reality of it," Robins told BBC Sport after Sunday's 2-1 win.

"Results didn't go our way on Saturday, but we'll keep fighting."

Robins, who returned for a second spell as Coventry manager in March, added: "We're trying to stave it off for as long as we can. After we've celebrated this, we've got to go to Bramall Lane on Wednesday and then face Peterborough at home next Saturday.

"But this was really important for us as a club. We've shown the football world we're alive and kicking."

About 43,000 Coventry fans watched their Wembley success and Robins continued: "The supporters are a massive part of this football club and this was a great day for all of them.

"To see the amount that turned up, with that much passion, surpasses anything I've done in football. The experience was phenomenal. The noise was tremendous. Both sets of fans were really good.

"It gives everybody a reminder that we have a really good fan base with so much potential. We just have to harness it."

Coventry City
Goals from Gael Bigirimana and George Thomas gave Coventry victory over Oxford

Bigirimana's weekend: From big daddy to big goal at Wembley

Robins revealed after the game that the Sky Blues' opening goalscorer Gael Bigirimana was close to missing his moment of glory - only the Burundi-born midfielder's second goal for the club on his 74th appearance.

"His wife gave birth to their first child on Saturday, a little girl called Eden," said Robins. "He was missing on Saturday and he was touch and go.

"Our preparations were further hampered when we lost Callum Reilly with a hamstring injury. He was better on Saturday and I might have risked him, in the hope that he'd get through on adrenaline, but he'd not have lasted the 90 minutes.

"Chris Stokes hadn't played much of late so there was a question of whether he could get though the game and Jordan Willis has had a thigh strain and there was a doubt whether he could last 90 minutes.

"Extra time would have been horrendous for us, which is why I was so grateful to Lee Burge for making his late save."

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