AFC Wimbledon’s players found cutting edge after heart-to-heart with head coach Robbo

BY DANIEL MARSH

Mark Robinson has revealed that a heart-to-heart with his AFC Wimbledon players before last weekend’s game at Accrington has been the catalyst for their recent feast of goals.

The Dons excelled at Plough Lane on Tuesday night to overcome play-off chasing Ipswich Town 3-0 – just days after trouncing Accrington Stanley 5-1.

Two goals in four first-half minutes from Will Nightingale and Jack Rudoni had given the Dons a two-goal cushion before Josh Harrop was dismissed for the visitors. Ryan Longman sealed the points with a clinical finish after his second-half introduction.

Robinson shared some insight into how his Dons side have found their “belief” in the final third.

“We had a big heart-to-heart before the Accrington game about turning good performances into having that edge in the final third. We just felt that possibly because we’d been playing well and everyone’s been telling us that we’re playing well, that we thought the points will come because the performances are good.

“We talked about having that edge, so I showed them some various things and we then took it on to the training pitch and said: ‘We have to find that edge’. That isn’t just being aggressive and being in there, that edge is having that belief in the final third that you can do something a little bit special. So much of our football over the rest of the pitch has been good because we’ve been confident, but then we get to the final third there looks a lack of confidence.

“It was just about getting in the right areas and having that confidence. You saw that tonight with Rudi getting in there with his header that he possibly hadn’t done that since the Wigan game. It’s about getting more people in those crucial areas and having that belief. It feels like it’s turned, but it means nothing unless we keep doing it.”

Harrop’s dismissal in the 27th minute may have handicapped Ipswich’s ability to get back into the game, but it shouldn’t take focus away from what was a sterling Wimbledon performance.

The Dons head coach added: “Ipswich started well, but once the game settled down we were really good. In many ways, we caused the sending off to happen because we were that good. Their lad’s flown in because we’ve played some good football in the corner to get out and they possibly got a little bit frustrated.

“When you play well you make things happen for yourself, so we were possibly looking as good against 11 as we were with 10.

“We were better against Charlton, if I’m honest – we had good chances against them. I thought with 10 men today they opened us up a few times, but then I’ve just been given the stats and we had 22 attempts to their seven. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but when you’re playing against 10 men your mind tells you we should be dominant. There were times they opened us up a little bit too easily but without creating too much. It was a good performance.”

 


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