Interview with centre-back ahead of Saturday's game
Paul Robinson shrugged off the pain of a broken nose to play his part in AFC Wimbledon reaching the FA Cup third round – and now he’s determined to help the Dons achieve another target tomorrow.
The experienced centre-back managed to come through the win at Curzon Ashton without any further repercussions and he’s looking forward to a different challenge in Buckinghamshire tomorrow.
Speaking during an interview with WDON’s Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Robinson said: “I had a bit of fun in training on Saturday! It was one of those innocuous incidents when I went up for a ball with Chris Whelpdale and my nose managed to find his elbow. I managed to break it and ‘Dougy’ was quickly on the spot, he managed to put it back in. I’ve got some nice Panda eyes and a bit of swelling, but apart from that, it’s just kind of carrying on in the same way. Obviously, I have to protect it as much as possible as a centre halve who likes to head the ball! I was a bit fed up at the time, but I cannot be too disappointed as I’m sure I’ve handed out my fair share over the years!
“It did not keep me out of the game on Sunday and it was an exciting afternoon. It’s about us keeping that momentum going this weekend and aiming for more points. That is what we will be trying incredibly hard to do. The manager set us a points target and we are still working towards that. This is another game towards achieving it.
“We know that emotions will run high off the pitch and it is up to us as players to make sure we are focused and ready to do our job. We’ve been through some big afternoons in the last six months or so and that will stand us in good stead. We are looking forward to the challenge that awaits and we will do our best to give us the maximum chance of getting the points.”
Robinson added that Neal Ardley’s men must focus on the qualities that have taken the club up to seventh in League One this season and he says that the squad are eager to give their best for our travelling fans.
“It is an emotional afternoon and a big occasion for our fans,” Robinson said. “They have got their own decisions to make and you respect that whatever it may be. As players we have to concentrate on playing the game. We have to make sure we are prepared come 1 pm on Saturday so that we know exactly what we are looking for in our performance. We have a group of lads here who will be looking to put that performance into action.
“We have to focus on our qualities. We know their players, but we do not necessarily know how their manager and coaching staff will approach it. That’s going to be a little bit of an unknown quantity, but perhaps more of a reason to focus on ourselves.
“The manager wanted all four strikers vying for the spots up front and for us as a team to have those players scoring important goals is great. If two of them are not working on any day, the manager has two more he can throw on. As a defender, I can vouch for how horrible that is for the opposition. When you think you have seen two decent players go off, two more come on when you are feeling a little bit tired.
“Credit to the strikers because they are all pushing each other. They are keeping up with each other and rising to the challenge. They’ve all produced important goals when we’ve needed them to and that bodes well for us in the coming months.”
The full extensive interview with Paul Robinson is on Dons Player, along with Neal’s update ahead of tomorrow’s match.