BY DANIEL MARSH
Glyn Hodges hailed AFC Wimbledon’s “tremendous” performance in the 1-1 draw at Sunderland on Tuesday night.
The Dons took the lead through a Joe Pigott penalty in the 42nd minute, only for the hosts to strike back through Bailey Wright just after the hour mark.
But Wimbledon were galvanised after conceding, and were unfortunate not to get the winner their second-half display deserved.
“We were tremendous,” said the Dons manager.
“To a man, they carried out the way we wanted to play, and they understood what was asked of them. To come to a place like this and be disappointed that you haven’t got three points is testament to how they played.”
Sunderland boss Lee Johnson slammed the EFL after the match for allowing the fixture to go ahead. The Black Cats were missing eight players due to a Covid-19 outbreak.
Hodges added: “It was only when we got to the ground and it was all over social media that we were aware there was an outbreak here.
“They had to make changes. It does affect the team, but they still put out a very strong side. They are at the right end of the table and looking to get promoted into the Championship, but the way we played tonight was tremendous and I thought we deserved the three points.
“It’s been up and down recently, there’s been inconsistencies. The challenge to the boys now is that this is the benchmark. Can we keep repeating those levels? That’s the task for us all.”
Hodges reserved special praise for young attackers Jack Rudoni and Ryan Longman after the game. Both had a key impact on the game from wide positions supporting Joe Pigott, with Rudoni winning the Dons penalty and Longman stealing the show with his forays down the flank.
“Ryan and Rudi on the left and right were a threat, they worked their socks off. They were a thorn in the side of the opposition all game.
“Ryan is a different player down the wing than he is in the middle. He probably had more of the ball on the wing than down the middle, but it’s a position I know he plays because he did it at Brighton. That’s something we’ve had up our sleeve but not used yet.
“We used him there at Oxford in the Carabao Cup, and he was great then. It’s another position that we can cause problems in.”
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