The Dons will tonight come up against an in-form Accrington side on a cold Tuesday night in Lancashire, but Mark Robinson has challenged his players to stamp their authority on the match.
A thrilling 4-3 Emirates FA Cup victory versus Cheltenham on Saturday made it three games unbeaten on home turf for Robbo’s boys, who will be aiming to build on that improvement at the Wham Stadium tonight.
Speaking ahead of the trip, our Head Coach said: “It was a tough test last time around (5-1 win), but we scored goals at important times. In any League One game you have to get lots of things right to win, so that’s what we will be planning to do. We are looking forward to it.
“It looks like the weather will not be great, but it’s the same for both sides. We’ve just got to concentrate on what we do, the pitch is decent up there. We know how threatening they can be with the types of players they’ve got, so we’ve got to deal with that, and then we’ve got to stamp our authority on the game. That’s our approach to every single match that we play.
“I’ve watched Saturday’s game back and when our subs came on initially our performance levels raised again and it looked like we were going to get a fifth goal, but then we made a poor decision leading up to their second goal. Even after that it looked more like a consolation, but the own goal changed the mindsets of both sets of players. It was down to decision-making and communication, but no pathway to where you want to go is without mistakes, especially when you are trying to play progressive football.
“You want to eradicate the mistakes, but it is the nature of the beast if you want to play a progressive style.”
John Coleman’s squad will include a familiar face to our supporters with Harry Pell having become a regular at Accrington – six years after he left us.
“I haven’t seen him for ages, but he has been doing really well," added Robbo. "There’s an element of looking at the threats they offer and Harry is one of those, but it’s always got to be about what we are going to do, putting our mark on the game, and improving what we do. It was an excellent performance in many ways on Saturday and we’ve got to improve on that. For 65 minutes there was so much to be pleased about.”
In his pre-match interview with Rob Cornell, our Head Coach said that he’s awaiting the results of a scan on Ollie Palmer’s quad before deciding if he can be pitched into action. Egli Kaja on Saturday made his first appearance since re-signing for us – and Robbo said he provides a fine example for other young players to follow.
“We’ve had that with a lot of players, and it was the same with Brendan Kiernan. Things didn’t quite work out for him here, but I’ve stayed in touch with Brendan and he’s now playing professional football. Brendan and Egli are great role models for young lads. When things don’t quite go how you want them to go you’ve got to keep at it because you never know what can happen.
“I knew it was going to be emotional for Egli, and I just wanted him to relax, but I probably made it worse for him! I felt a little bit emotional as I’ve know the lad since he was 10. He was part of the first group that I ever coached here so it was quite emotional for both of us. I was so chuffed for him as knew how much it would mean to him. I just wanted him to relax, enjoy it, and do his stuff. I thought early on he was very bright, but you could see he hadn’t played for a while. It will come and it was a great moment for him. I’m sure there will be plenty more to come from him.”