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The perfect response to Robbo’s challenge

Post-match reaction from our Head Coach

7 August 2021

Mark Robinson revealed that goalscorers Ayoub Assal and Luke McCormick were on the receiving end of a few choice words at half-time – and he was delighted with their response.

Assal and McCormick struck the two goals in a superb Dons fightback at Doncaster, but Robbo had challenged them to do better after a first-half when his side failed to make the most of their supremacy.

“I put Ayoub under a bit of pressure,” said Robbo. “He’s not in the Under-18s anymore, and at half-time I told him that he had to do better with his chance, but he came up trumps, and he tucked his chance away really well. I said similar to ‘Macca’ as well. We signed him for his quality and his set pieces in the first-half in key areas were not good enough, but he has come up with the winner and that’s what quality players do, they do it when it matters. He was just really clever with it, he’s obviously seen a space and it was an excellent finish.

“I’ve said to the boys that both goals came from creating a bit of chaos on the edge of the area. You are not going to score perfect goals very often. When you look at when we went on our scoring run last season there were some really good goals in there, but a lot of them came from creating a bit of chaos around the penalty area, and getting bodies in there. That’s what we have done, and we have to keep working on it.”

Robbo and our players celebrated with our travelling support after the final whistle – a scenario that everyone connected with the club had waited a long time to see. Our Head Coach has spoken regularly about creating a real attachment with the supporters and this was a perfect example of that.

“I am very emotional. It’s not a case of over celebrating after three points because it just felt right being back in front of the fans – the numbers they have travelled in was absolutely phenomenal. There must have been close to a thousand and it just felt right. You go with your raw emotions, I’m not normally big on stuff like that, but it felt right. I just wanted them to realise how much we appreciate them.

“Our fans away are always fantastic anyway, but they just didn’t stop getting behind us today, even when we went 1-0 down. It wasn’t a case of ‘let’s go over to the fans’, the emotions overtook as it meant so much to be back in front of fans. It felt like the right thing to do.

“We’ve talked a lot about our youthful squad, and we’ve got to learn quickly on certain things. These type of games, a bit like Gillingham last season when we had to dig in a bit, are so important. You cannot be over purist about it, they’ve got to understand that. There might be games when everything seems very comfortable and you play great football, and there are other games when you have to dig in and come away with a result.”

Pic: Ian Stephen, Pro Sports Images.


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