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Mark rallies young Dons

3 February 2017

Highlights and reaction after FA Youth Cup defeat

Coach Mark Robinson is determined his under-18s squad don’t let their season slip away, following Wednesday night’s FA Youth Cup defeat at Preston North End.

The young Dons return to Youth Alliance – South East action at Dagenham and Redbridge tomorrow morning (kick-off 10.30am) after they were denied a place in the last eight of this season’s competition, going out 3-2 after extra-time at Deepdale.

Highlights of the tie are now available by clicking on the link above.

. “Not just the first years, some of the second years and some of the lads that are on professional contracts as well.” post-match interview “It’s been a big learning curve for some of the lads,” admitted Mark in his

“I’m not saying anyone was really poor out there, but we set our standards high in everything we do and there were bits of it that were nowhere near good enough.”

“I’ve said to them in the dressing room that last year, when we lost to Chelsea, I had no doubt they would go on and remain unbeaten because of their character. I’m not saying they were better players, because we’ve got some real talent, but I knew they would bounce back and I knew they would win on the Saturday and they would stay unbeaten for the rest of the season.”

“That’s what I’ve said to these boys - you’ve got to show me that as I didn’t see enough of that character out there against Preston. That’s what I expect to see.”

“When Nick’s (Akoto) goal was ruled out for offside to put us 2-1 up with thirteen minutes to go, the fourth official congratulated me on staying calm,” added Mark, having had time to study the match again.

“However, after having the opportunity to watch it again, I have to congratulate myself. I hate talking about officials and decisions, but I really do not know how he has made that call from where he is standing. He has three players in his eye line that are keeping him onside and two of them are on the touch line, keeping him on by three yards at least.”

“Their penalty was soft and watching it again there appeared to be no contact, but as it was busy in there I could at least see how an error could be made.”

“We cannot make these things an excuse though as it just disguises many other things we did not do well enough on the night. We made it to the last sixteen again this year, but we missed out some vital elements when it mattered and that is what brought our journey to an end.”

Mark was again very grateful for the tremendous travelling support his side received on Wednesday night.

“Fantastic! When we came out they were all we could hear and that hurts even more. It was important the boys went and paid respect to those fans.”

We wish to thank Keith Clark for providing the video highlights of the FA Youth Cup match against Preston North End.

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