AFC Wimbledon head coach Mark Robinson was delighted with his side’s clinical edge in their 5-1 victory at Accrington and praised Ollie Palmer and Ayoub Assal.
Michael Nottingham had put the hosts ahead just five minutes in. However a Palmer brace and Assal goal just before half time turned the game on its head. Assal got the fourth in the second half before Joe Pigott netted their fifth to move the Dons out of the relegation zone and into 20th position in League One.
Robinson told AFC Wimbledon’s official website: “When you go 1-0 down from a setpiece, you think ‘here we go’, but the character the players showed was excellent, so too was the manner of the performance.
“We added that end bit, which was crucial, and something we had been trying to find. I was pleased with every single bit of it until the 85th minute when we lost a little bit of discipline, which led to Ben [Heneghan] getting sent off. There was so much to be pleased about.
“Everything we do has to be relentless, and that’s what we were today. They were relentless, we want to play good football and be exciting, but we had to find an edge and today we found it. Now we have to keep it. If we go and over celebrate this your performance dips and then you don’t win.
“My whole thing is about building attachment between [the] players and fans. The job of the staff is to get their minds focused for Tuesday. We miss the fans so badly. Football is about two things – the fans and the players. That’s it for me. That’s all I want, so that over time people wake up in the morning and they are excited.
“I am not getting carried away by the performance, but one of the players stood up there and said: ‘That’s us and it has to be us’. He is right and even with the games when you don’t get the results, you will be forgiven and be given the empathy you deserve.”
Robinson had plenty of praise for Palmer, who scored a brace in Saturday’s win.
“Ollie [Palmer] was excellent. Just the way he chased everything down. You can never underestimate that there is no replacement for hard work. No matter how good you are, or who you are, and Ollie showed that today. Others did as well, including Rudi [Jack Rudoni] who won plenty of headers. That is all part of the game. You can have all the ability in the world, but you need to do the other parts of the game too. Ollie was really pleasing.”
Dons boss also gave plenty of credit to Ayoub Assal who also scored a brace and discusses how people sometimes underestimate him because of his height.
“Unfortunately, people have unconscious bias with small players. They look at their size and make up their minds, but I have so much belief in the lad [Ayoub Assal] and so do the players. It probably took him ten minutes today to settle in a little bit because you get a physical test when you come to Accrington. Once he settled in, he was great.”
PICTURES: SEAN GOSLING
Please support your local paper by making a donation
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
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.
Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.