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Mark salutes cup fightback

19 December 2016

Coach: biggest challenge is the belief that they can do it

AFC Wimbledon Under-18s manager Mark Robinson saluted the character and resilience shown by his squad after an excellent FA Youth Cup win on Saturday.

The young Dons appeared to be heading out at Huddersfield on Saturday, only for late goals from Nick Akoto and Anthony Hartigan to seal a stunning turnaround and a fourth round tie at home to Hull City.

“It was good that we showed character to come back and win it,” said Mark. “The only thing I have questioned with the boys is when they have to come from behind. I know that they are a talented group. We now have the opportunity to get into the last-16 again, which is an excellent achievement when you put everything into perspective. Once again, we have beaten a club with far greater resources and players playing international youth football, but the boys know I want more than that and I believe they are capable of more. I hope they feel the same as the biggest challenge is the belief that they can do it.”

Mark added that the introductions of substitutes Ethan Nelson-Roberts, Tino Carpene and Nick Akoto provided a spark just when it was needed, the latter scoring the all-important equaliser.

“In the first-half we played some good football, but we were not a threat,” added Mark. “We were far too safe and did not ask enough questions of them. We probably had more of the ball, but they carried more of a threat when they went forward. We changed shape for the second-half and we started dominating for the first 20 minutes.

“When we did not score, I have to admit I was a little worried we would not get a goal because we had lost a little sparkle. I made three substitutes who added good energy and when we equalised through Nick I fancied us to get another. Anthony did great to win the penalty and he was never going to miss.”

Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Anthony Hartigan.

  if you missed Dave Hunt-Jackson’s bulletin from the John Smith’s Stadium.Match ReportClick on 

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