Mark Robinson wants AFC Wimbledon to play their brand of attacking football against three-time Premier League winners Arsenal in tomorrow night’s EFL Cup third round tie.
The Dons have started their League One campaign in exhilarating fashion, scoring the most goals out of any side in the top four divisions in English football and securing points from losing positions in five different games.
Despite coming up against a side that spent north of £135million in the summer on new recruits – including former Wimbledon loanee Aaron Ramsdale – Robinson insists that he will not deviate from his free-flowing style of play against Mikel Arteta’s Gunners.
“There is no point,” said Wimbledon’s head coach. “If I change the style of play, I am telling the players that they’re not good enough – and that’s the last thing I ever want to be doing.
“Everything will be the same. We still want it [our preparations] to remain largely about us. Obviously, they will throw up some different challenges to possibly what we would face in League One football – of course they will. But we want the bulk of the preparation to still be about us because that gives us the self-belief to go and perform.”
Speaking on his squad’s excitement ahead of the trip, Robinson said: “They’re all excited. All they keep saying to me is: ‘Are we going to go and just do our normal thing?’ Which is what they want to do. They want to pit themselves up against some of the best and see where they are, which is exactly the mindset I want from them.
“Everyone is looking forward to it. It’s going to be brilliant. Every week it feels like there is something new and something to look forward to. This is going to be something special for everyone, and I am really proud and really looking forward to it. We just go into the game wanting to put in a real high-level performance and do ourselves and the fans proud.”
When asked how he plans to ensure that the occasion and stage don’t affect his players, Robinson said: “Just by constantly giving them that belief that we just need to go and be ourselves and have no fear. There is no point going there and thinking about damage limitations or being anything other than the best version of ourselves. But I am confident they will do that anyway.”
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.