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Mark: we must be braver

13 November 2013

YouTube video interview with Academy Manager

Academy Manager Mark Robinson says that his Under-18s must learn the lessons of last night’s FA Youth Cup defeat by Colchester.

, Mark concluded that he was disappointed with his side’s second-half display in the 4-1 defeat, but the main thing is about progression for a young squad.Youth FocusDuring an interview for YouTube, which can be viewed by clicking on

“The great thing about Neal Ardley is that all he’s interested in is development,” Mark said. “He does not put me under pressure as regards results. We had a really bright start to the season and we were third in the table, but then followed a dip in terms of results. The boys have to get that out of their heads though. They have been at Wimbledon for a long time and had a lot of success, which included becoming English Champions a few years ago and losing just three games out of 50 at Under-15 and Under 16 academy level.

“I keep telling them though that Under-18 football is different. It is clinical because you are playing against older boys who will punish you for mistakes and we have seen that tonight. It is about producing professional footballers and our boys developing individually. If you look at the second-half Colchester were doing back heels and other tricks. I told our players that they are doing these things because they are brave and confident. In the second-half we were not brave. I will forgive anything if we give it a go, but we did not do that for 25 minutes in the second-half.”

Mark did take positives from Wimbledon’s first-half display as they threatened to make a game of it at 3-1 down.

“Colchester were good, but we don’t want to talk about other teams and we want to focus on what we do,” Mark added. “In the first-half I was not that upset. I was looking at some of our players and thinking that they were standing out against a good side containing some young professional players. The second-half frustrated me though.

 “We had shown a lot of threat going forward in the first-half and it looked very positive with the boys showing a good reaction after going behind so early. Neal came into the dressing room at half-time and talked about things we could do to stop them, but he was excited by what we were doing going forward because we were hurting them. We did not keep it up in the second-half though and that was disappointing.” 

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