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Mark Robins has announced that fan-favorite Tatsuhiro Sakamoto is “fit” as Coventry City gears up for their final match of the 2023/24 season.

The Sky Blues are set to face 17th-placed QPR at the CBS Arena on Saturday at 12:30 pm. As they prepare for the match, manager Mark Robins is assessing his injured players, with defenders Joel Latibeaudiere (muscle) and Luis Binks (Achilles), along with midfielder Victor Torp (stomach), all dealing with injuries. Additionally, Liam Kitching’s suspension might leave Coventry City with only one fully fit center-back, Bobby Thomas, to take on QPR. This situation puts Jake Bidwell on standby to fill in if needed.

Asked if it’s a case of seeing how Latibeaudiere, Binks and Torp are when they reported for training today, Robins was giving nothing away, saying: “Not really, no. I have to see what I have got left and have a look at the team after that. But whatever we do, I expect us to perform to a really good level.”

Regarding Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, who has been sidelined with a significant back injury, Mark Robins shared: “The important thing is he’s fit now, just in time for the last game of the season. He’s been out for nine weeks, though it feels much longer, which reflects how many games we’ve played since he was injured against Preston. However, he’s back on the field and running, so he should be ready for pre-season.”

Asked if there’s a chance he might sneak onto the bench this weekend, Robins added: “He’s not been training.”

One thing is for sure, however, he will join the rest of the players for the customary lap of appreciation after the final whistle when the fans will have the opportunity to thank everyone for their efforts, and the players and staff similarly thank the fans for their incredible support.

“We’re going to appreciate the supporters because they have been immense, that’s for sure,” said the manager. “Tatsu will want to show his appreciation for the support he’s had from them as much as they will want to show their appreciation for him and everyone else.

“It will be great to see and it was lovely to see he got a round of applause when they saw him running. He’s been a big miss for us but he needed a breather because there were times when he looked like a ghost and was really in need of a break. Then, unfortunately, his injury happened but it’s great to see him on the grass and running. It’s a shame, ironic really that he’s fit come the last game of the season.”

Asked if he’s excited about what the Japanese winger will offer next season after his impressive progress in his first campaign, during which he scored seven goals and provided two assists, he said: “We saw glimpses of what he can bring but I think there’s still improvement at 26 years of age for him, and we’ll be talking to him about a programme for him over the summer.

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