Cup exit for Sky Blues
8th February 2006, 20:00
Coventry City were narrowly beaten by Premiership opponents Middlesbrough in their FA Cup replay on Wednesday night but exited the Riverside Stadium and the competition with their pride firmly intact.
To be honest, the spark had gone from this tie when the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of a pulsating first game in front of a record crowd at the Ricoh Arena in which City's vibrant attacking play had 'Boro on the ropes.
The lengthy wait for the replay (with two league games in between) didn't help and neither did the 5th round draw which sent last night's visitors on the road to either Preston or Crystal Palace.
'Boro's poor recent form meant a sparse crowd at the Riverside, augmented by some 2,500 City fans whose new hero, Dennis Wise, was left out of the 16 after feeling the effects of two matches the previous week.
The only goal of the game came when Yakubu sent Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink free to round Marton Fulop and score.
'Boro looked lively after that and up until half-time were the better side.
City though profited from the introduction of Claus Jorgensen and had control of the second-half in a manner similar to the first game.
They couldn't quite however, create any clear-cut chances although Schwarzer was forced into action on a couple of occasions.
So the end of the FA Cup for another season but to hear Micky Adams afterwards talking about the play-offs, shows how far City have come in a short space of time.
Comments: Claus Jorgensen
'I think we had a lot of possession around their area but to be fair, I thought their defenders did really well heading balls away, especially from corners when we had some good deliveries and they coped well with those.
'We never really got a clear header and those that we did were well off target, so they did well.
'We knew we had to get forward and that's what I tried to help us to do when I went on and I was happy with my contribution.
'I think it helped playing towards the Coventry fans in the second half because they were outstanding for us.'
Comments: Steve McClaren (Middlesbrough boss)
'It was a gritty performance - not pretty, but gritty.
'Being hard to beat and keeping a clean sheet was the most important thing.
'Everybody from the front to the back gave a performance which showed they didn't want to get beat.'