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Robbo: A great learning experience for the boys

Reaction from Mark Robinson after young Dons bow out of cup competition

8 January 2020

Mark Robinson said that Wimbledon’s young talents will have learned plenty from last night’s Surrey Senior Cup tie at South Park after they allowed a winning opportunity to slip through their fingers.

With a virtual starting 11 consisting of Under-18s, it was a youthful Wimbledon side that bowed out on penalties at the second round stage. The picture above shows Huseyin Biler, who once again impressed Robbo with his all-action display.

Speaking afterwards, Robbo said: “There was a lot to be pleased about. We are disappointed for the lads because these competitions offer great opportunities to put our young players in. We certainly did that because we had nine Under-18s out there, including 16-year-olds. It’s just a shame because it would have been another game against a men’s side in the next round, playing in small stadiums in front of crowds.

“In the first-half, for all our good possession, I felt we were not threatening enough. We talked to them at half-time, and I felt we came out and we were a real threat. We got the goal and there was a lot of positives. But I was disappointed with the spell after we scored. When we scored, they were always going to try and get in our faces. We do a lot of work on mentality and not letting things like that bother you. I just wish our players had puffed their chests out a bit, stepped forward, kept the ball, and seen that 10-minute spell out. Most of them are just 16 or 17 though, so that will come. We will keep continuing to develop the boys in this way because it’s a great learning experience for them.

“They were really flat and disappointed afterwards, which you would expect them to be, because they want to win football matches. We do a lot of work on behaviours and how to overcome teams when they do things like appealing to the officials, or you get noise from the sidelines. We just said to them that we should have been good enough to overcome that little spell and put their mark on the game. Once they equalised, we were then back in the ascendancy and we managed to get hold of the ball again, so it was just that 10-15 minute spell.”

Robbo praised Dylan Adjei-Hersey, Huseyin Biler, and Isaac Ogundere for their performances on the night.

“I hadn’t seen Dylan play up front a lot as he normally plays out wide, but I thought he was excellent – a constant threat. Huseyin is a bundle of energy, he’s good on the ball, and exciting. Those two players stood out and I thought Isaac Ogundere did well too, playing at right centre-back at the age of 16.”

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