Mark Robins felt Norwich City targeted Coventry City’s flying winger Tatsuhiro Sakamoto with a tactic ‘to kick him out of the game’ in the Canaries’ 2-1 Championship comeback at Carrow Road.

Sakamoto was upended by Marcelino Nunez to halt a Sky Blues’ counter in the first half, which earned the Chilean a caution, before Kenny McLean was later booked for a foul on the Japanese international.

Josh Sargent and Borja Sainz cancelled out Callum O’Hare’s opener shortly after the interval in an intense play-off shoot-out that saw Liam Kitching red carded for scything down Sargent.

But it was the treatment meted out to Sakamoto that upset Robins, who also highlighted the manner Championship rivals have looked to stop the key wide player.

“He’s gets absolutely zero protection,” he said. “You’ll have to ask him whether he (David Wagner) has been in yet (for his post-match media) whether that was a tactic, to kick him out of the game, because that is what it looked like to me.

"He gets absolutely zero protection from the referee and then he ends up coming off and probably bruised and battered for the next few days. That is football, I suppose.”

The Canaries head coach was asked about Robins’ Sakamoto comments when did his post-game media.

“Sakamoto and O’Hare are a few of the stand out players in the Championship,” he said. “If you like to be successful (against Coventry) then you have to try and keep them calm.

"I only can praise my whole team because this was a team effort to keep them calm. We did it quite well over the whole period. A big credit to my players.

“If you don’t switch on, you see what O’Hare can do, and this was a great team effort how they kept their top individuals calm.”

Robins was adamant Coventry were full value for a result, but defender Kitching's red card decided the outcome.

“We were a goal up and then we got the man sent off, which changed the game, as it often does,” he said. “But before that, Haji (Wright) had a brilliant chance where the keeper made a save but we shouldn’t really give him a chance to save it.

"It should have been in the back of the net and in the bottom corner and then it’s game over for me, regardless of the sending off.

“But even with ten men we still carried a threat and created some really decent play to get Kasey in a position to shoot and again, the keeper has made the save, so I can’t help feeling that we are hard done by with the final result.

"There was a lot of decent football played and to come away with nothing is bitterly disappointing.”