‘Outstanding’ – Dons head coach finds a lot to like in Ayoub Assal’s display as AFC Wimbledon progress in FA Cup

AFC Wimbledon head coach Mark Robinson hailed Ayoub Assal as “outstanding” after the forward bagged his first brace of the season in the 4-3 FA Cup win over Cheltenham Town.

Assal scored his first in the 36th minute when he slotted home Luke McCormick’s through ball and doubled his tally after half time with a smart finish inside the area to turn home Ollie Palmer’s cross.

The 19-year-old, who has been called up to Morocco’s U20 squad for a training camp in the past, now has 10 goal contributions in all competitions this season.

“That was as good as he has been,” said Robinson. “His performance against Crewe was excellent, but that was as good as he has been on and off the ball.

AFC Wimbledon v Cheltenham Town Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round, Cherry Red Records Stadium, 04 December 2021

“His discipline and the amount of regains he got were both excellent. I say that to all the players – such as him, Jack Rudoni and Ethan Chislett – they have to pride themselves on regains, and the rest will look after itself. He was excellent.”

Asked which areas of his game he believed Assal could develop, Robinson stated: “When he plays like that, not a lot.

“People talk about his discipline, but he’s been dragged down yet again today when he’s away and their player hasn’t even been booked.

“He kept his discipline brilliantly. We all know he gets fouled anywhere between 10 and 20 times a game.

“He knows he can work on different types of finishing a little bit, which we’re working on, but he was outstanding today.”




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