Manager urges young Dons to relax
Mark Robinson has urged AFC Wimbledon’s young talents to relax and show what they are capable of producing on the pitch in tonight’s FA Youth Cup tie against Woking (7.45 pm kick-off).
Players in his squad will not have played in front of a crowd at the Cherry Red Records Stadium before, but the Under-18s manager wants them to treat it is a normal game, certainly after an excellent 4-1 win against Cambridge United on Saturday.
to view the content. Young DonsA video interview with Mark and 18-year-old midfielder Seanan McKillop, along with goals from the above victory, can now be viewed on our official You Tube channel. Click on
Mark Robinson said: “Every year I have been here two or three players freeze and I am hoping that will not happen this time. I am doing everything I can to relax them because we have loads of important games coming up. There is also a Youth Alliance Cup tie against Swindon on Saturday and other boys will get their opportunities.
“I am just trying to talk to the boys about what we need to do. Trying to get them relaxed is the biggest problem. Neal Ardley will tell you that it was the same when he was at Cardiff; good players who you think will be fine have their aunties or uncles watching them for the first time and they just freeze. There is only so much I can do, but we are doing everything to avoid that. I want the lads to treat it like any other game.
“It has been a little bit frustrating (this season). When we have been good, we have been very good and have taken teams apart, but we have also lost our focus at times. We have had some disappointing performances, but the results do not always tell you everything. We played Northampton recently and lost 1-0, but we were excellent and played some great football. The other week we played Gillingham and we were awful, but on Saturday we were back on it and back to ourselves.
“I keep reminding the boys that focus is everything. They must focus every single day in training and out of training, it cannot just be every now and then. It has been frustrating, but I think we are getting there.”
AFC Wimbledon’s squad for tonight is as follows: Will Mannion, Reece Batchelor, Toby Sibbick, Paul Kalambayi, David Omperon, Neset Bellikli, Seanan McKillop, Jason Stripp, Alfie Egan, Dan Ano, Toyosi Olusanya, Reece Williams-Bowers, Louie Cockle, Emmanuel Mensah, Nathan Woods, Jack Wingate.
Entry prices are £5 for adults and £2 for Under-18s at tonight’s game.