Glyn Hodges expressed his frustration with the goals that Wimbledon conceded after watching his side work so hard to get back into the match at Fratton Park.
Speaking after the 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth, which came after The Dons had battled back to equalise through Joe Pigott, Glyn said: “The first-half was so disappointing. It’s nice to have a break, but I don’t think that helped us. The first-half wasn’t what we wanted, it wasn’t what we expected, and it wasn’t how we do things. We gave a poor goal away in the first-half, we gifted them that. We got ourselves back in the game, which is hard here anyway, and then we are thinking ‘great, we are on the front foot, we are doing okay’. Then all of a sudden, another fundamental way of defending, as we have key areas that we work on, has disappeared again. Two things that we work so hard on let us down.
“It’s a physical challenge and I think one of our defenders got nudged for the goal and you can complain about that, but it’s part of football. Perhaps we have to be a bit cuter in how we do things. Sometimes maybe we can be a bit naïve, but I said to them afterwards that I couldn’t fault them for effort. I said to them ‘stick to what we do, and keep believing in what we are doing’. We are getting better and if we go against what we believe in it’s an uphill battle. We showed what we can do, but the two goals we gave away were gifts, they were exactly what we aim not to do. It’s a learning curve, we have to pick ourselves up, and we have another big game next Saturday.
“We work on getting into areas to get crosses in to score and it’s the same at the opposite end. We try to stop crosses in those areas, but John Marquis has scored from one. You are scratching your head thinking ‘this is not what we do and it’s not happening today’, but we just have to keep improving, keep working with the players. It’s repetitive work all the time, that’s what we need to do. We will do it again next week and prepare for Saturday. When they changed their shape to 4-2-4 we should have known that they had two centre forwards and they were going to put more crosses in. That’s the disappointing thing, we didn’t switch onto that as early as we should have done. We will learn from it, move on, and get better.”
Glyn added that it’s too soon to assess the extent of the first-half injury that Marcus Forss suffered and he will have a scan on Monday.