Jack Rudoni strike earns Mark Robinson first win since AFC Wimbledon head coach appointment

BY DANIEL MARSH

Mark Robinson admitted he was “chuffed” for matchwinner Jack Rudoni – after his late goal sealed the new AFC Wimbledon head coach’s first win since being appointed on a permanent basis.
The Dons academy graduate’s 89th-minute strike was enough to record a tight 1-0 win over Gillingham at Plough Lane.
Rudoni was a constant threat cutting in from the right-hand flank in a new 4-2-3-1 approach, and he capped a fine solo display with a wonderful bending effort from outside the box.
The win lifted Wimbledon out of the League One relegation zone – they are a point clear of the bottom four having played a game fewer than Bristol Rovers, who slipped below them.
“I was so chuffed for him,” said Robinson when discussing Rudoni’s late heroics.
“He feels he should have five or six goals by now – he’s missed a few simpler ones but then he’s done that! It’s going to be a great boost for him because he’s technically fantastic and he’s always been capable of that. Long may that continue for him.
“The three points is massive. I felt if we could be good for 60 minutes, it should be enough to win the game and that was the case. First half we were excellent. The first 15 after the break they threw everything at us. I’ve been talking to them about behaviours because the best environments have elite behaviours – we showed that in the defensive third. We were throwing our bodies on the line. We could have been better on the ball, but we saw ourselves through it and then we got better on the ball and showed that little bit of quality to get the goal.
“It’s pleasing, but it means nothing. It is just three points – it’s a good performance, but it’s about what happens next.
“We knew Steve [Evans] was going to get into them and what was coming. You’ve got to be brave defending, but then you’ve got to have that confidence to get on the ball and find those passes. In the first 10 minutes we’ve slashed one and missed it and then slashed one straight to them. It’s having that ability to breathe and then get the ball, because you can take their momentum away by having the ball. That’s where we are right now, that’s stuff we’ve got to work on. But I’m absolutely proud of how they got through that spell.”
Wimbledon have the chance to build on the result with another home game against high-flying Hull City on Saturday. The Dons have struggled at home this season, with the majority of their points being picked up on their travels, but Robinson is keen for his side to focus on the bigger picture ahead of the weekend’s clash.
“I’m a massive believer in processes. Win, lose or draw you just have to keep going back to the process, because that is what will eventually bring you success and that’ll be my message to the lads when we’re back in on Thursday.
“Every game’s a big game, so if you go away from processes then it’s irrelevant – every single game is a big game. You don’t want to be too high when you win and you certainly don’t want to be too low when you lose. It’s just going back and looking at what was good and what wasn’t and going back to it.”
PHOTO: PAUL EDWARDS

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