Wally Downes was disappointed to lose a second away game in five days, but he believes that the team are showing positive signs of coming through a difficult spell.
Speaking after the 3-1 defeat against a Sunderland side expected to challenge for promotion again, our manager said: “It’s not about one player, it’s about all of us getting together and we have to make sure that we stick together during this bad patch. It’s been a tough run of games, but I’ve seen good play from us and now it’s about moving on, coming through it, and marching on for the rest of the season.
“We can compete, we’ve scored at Ipswich and scored today. At half-time the game was there for us, if we were good enough to go on and win it. Unfortunately, today we conceded too early after half-time and it was an uphill battle after that.
“We just have to keep working, keep sticking together as a unit. The organisation needed a bit of tweaking from the corner that we conceded today because they made a substitution. Perhaps we didn’t switch on as quickly as we should have, but it was just a shot that got through and scrambled in. It’s disappointing, but we will look at that back.”
Wally added that The Dons made mistakes at key moments today and that made it an uphill task at the Stadium of Light.
“In this division they are going to be a force," said Wally. "They had 30,000 fans here today and we won’t be the only team to lose here this season. It was a very difficult game for us, we gave away goals at bad times and we did very well to get back into the game before half-time. To give one away so soon after the break, it then becomes a very difficult place to play.
“It was difficult with them in the ascendancy and with the fans behind them. We grinded it out and we were still in the game with 10 minutes to go, but if you give a third one away it becomes a very difficult place to play. You have to battle your way in from 1-0 down, which we did, but to go two down is an uphill struggle. We were trying to get back to 2-2, but the third goal sealed the deal.
“We have a home game coming up (against Wycombe Wanderers) and it’s a local derby. It will be important for both sets of fans and we got a good victory against them last season. They are going well this season so it should be a great game and we will be looking to win it. “
Wally said it was too early to assess the extent of Rod McDonald’s injury after he came off in the final moments of today’s match.
Click on the link below to watch Rob Cornell’s full interview with Wally.