Mark Robinson proud of AFC Wimbledon staying up – but explains why there will be no celebrations

BY DANIEL MARSH

Mark Robinson shared his disappointment after AFC Wimbledon slumped to a 3-1 defeat at home to Portsmouth this afternoon – despite securing their League One status after results went their way elsewhere.

Joe Pigott gave the Dons a first-half lead, but Ronan Curtis drew the visitors level just a minute later. A brace from Lee Brown on the stroke of the interval proved to be enough to condemn Wimbledon to back-to-back league defeats.

Wimbledon’s third tier status was rubber-stamped after both Northampton and Rochdale failed to win in their respective fixtures.

But Robinson was far from celebrating survival after the match.

“We’re not going to celebrate staying up, because that’s a small club mentality,” said the Dons head coach.

“What are you celebrating? You’re celebrating being just above going down! So there’s going to be no celebrations. We will look at the good things that have gone on, like the form guide, because that’s something that’s a positive. But in terms of moving forward, there’ll be no celebrating staying in this league, because that’s a small club mentality.

Joe Pigott scores for the Dons Picture: Keith Gillard

“That was what I was asked to do as well as starting cultures and building environments, so I’m glad we’ve done that. It was just really disappointing that we couldn’t do it in a different manner today and that we’ve had to rely on other results, which wasn’t the plan.

“[It’s] complete disappointment. Because in the 19 games we’ve been together before today, even the ones we’ve lost, we saw progress in every game. When we lost, we came back better. So, I don’t know where today’s performance came from. The first 25 minutes we were very good. We had good chances and got the goal, and then obviously they’re going to step it up. We were poor from then on in.

“Obviously teams like Portsmouth are the benchmark and moving forward we’ve got to look at that and look at each other and go ‘what was that last 60 minutes about?’.”

Nik Tzanev makes a save against Portsmouth Picture: Keith Gillard

Despite a tough afternoon on the pitch, Robinson did share his pride at how far his side had come since his appointment, but also revealed that the form they’ve shown since he took the reins needs to be the norm going forward.

The Dons boss added: “I’m proud that they were second in the form table coming up to today. I’m proud that we’re eighth in the form table for the 19 games prior that we’d been together, because that shows development and progress. That shows what we’re trying to achieve as a culture.

“But I wasn’t proud of what I saw today, because that wasn’t what we’d built up to over the past 19 games. That’s a concern, so I expect a reaction.

“That’s exactly what I just said, that’s the standard. We were second in the form league over the past five or six games and we’ve been eighth overall since we come together. That’s the standard, that’s what we want to be pushing for. Today we looked like a relegation side. I’m not sure why – I’m not sure where that [performance] come from. But the standards of where we’ve been going are where we need to be next year.”

Jack Rudoni is tackled in the 3-1 loss to Portsmouth Picture: Keith Gillard

 


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