What Mark Robins told Callum O’Hare in Coventry City dressing room as departures confirmed

Mark Robins insists he’s ‘not giving up’ trying to keep Callum O’Hare at Coventry City while confirming the departures of the club’s two other out of contract players, Liam Kelly and Simon Moore.

O’Hare and Kelly were both given warm ovations from the fans who sung their songs from the terraces when taken off in the second half of the 2-1 CBS Arena defeat to QPR as the Sky Blues brought a disappointing end to their 2023/24 campaign.

And the City manager paid tribute to the outgoing players. Confirming 34-year-old Kelly’s departure after seven years at the club, Robins said: “The biggest thing for me is the fact that Kels will leave now. I have just spoken in the dressing room and I think he’s had a really fitting send off. He’s played some games at the end of the season and I think he’d have been really disappointed if he hadn’t.

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“He’s the epitome of everything that’s good about the club. He’s come and helped us drag it by the scruff of the neck to within a penalty kick of the Premier League and he’s been part of that journey, so fair play to him. He’s a credit to the club, to himself and his family and I he deserves all the plaudits that he gets and has got. And he’ll be missed, it’s as simple as that.”

He added: “Simon Moore is leaving as well. He’s had some really tough times and I just wish him all the best in what he does next. He’s a great lad as well, had a really good year in his first year but since then it’s been really difficult for him but he’s kept going.”

As for O’Hare, who has been offered fresh terms but so far refused to sign and looks likely to move as a free agent this summer, the manager said: “Then there’s Callum O’Hare and I have just said in the dressing room, I’m not going to give up on you. But we started laughing and I know that he’s probably going to choose somewhere else to go. But he’s been incredible as well and I thought the supporters were outstanding with him, as they were all the players.”

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