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Robbo’s third round wish after an “excellent” 60 minutes

Post-match reaction from our Head Coach

4 December 2021

Mark Robinson praised the quality of an attacking performance that swept aside Cheltenham today – and he would love to take on Leeds United in the third round.

Speaking after the 4-3 Emirates FA Cup victory versus Cheltenham Town, Robbo would be excited by the prospect of taking on Leeds United, a club that the Dons famously held to a 0-0 draw when we were in the Southern League back in 1975.

“I don’t normally have an opinion, but I think for sentimental reasons Leeds would be great," said Robbo. "We had that great game back in the day, so it would be great for Dickie and Ian Cooke – it would bring back great memories for them. They love to press, we love to press, so it could be a fantastic game of football, but we are in the hat, which is great. There are many teams at our level that are not in the hat. We need to look at the football we played in the first 60 minutes and build on that because I felt we played some excellent stuff today.”

Though disappointed with the goals conceded that made it more nervy than it should have been near the end, Robbo was keen to focus on the positives with Ayoub Assal once again underlining his return to form.

“There were times when things didn’t come off, but I loved our attitude on those occasions," added our Head Coach. "The discipline was great and we saw that with Ayoub. People talk about his discipline, but he was dragged back again when he was breaking away on the halfway line, and he carried on to effect the game. At 19 years of age he’s growing all of the time.

"I like Ayoub, Rudi, and Macca to pride themselves on regains. If they do that everything else will take care of itself. That side of their game was excellent today with the amount of times that they won the ball back. To a man up until the second goal, I felt that we were very good. Ollie was excellent, and so was Macca. Woody and Ant were brilliant in midfield. Rudi has had better games technically, but he kept at it.

"Unfortunately when you want to play you are going to make some errors and that’s part of us growing. It will happen when you want to play progressive football.

“We didn’t panic at 1-0 down and I felt that some of our speed of play, movement, and approach play was exciting and you could tell that from the crowd’s reaction. There were 4,300 here, but it sounded like a full house! At 4-1 it would have been lovely to have kicked on, but it wasn’t to be."

The game completely changed at 4-1 today, but Robbo felt that his treble change midway through the second-half was not a contributory factor and he was impressed with the impact made by Egli Kaja.

“I felt sorry for our substitutes," said Robbo. "At 4-1 I think their manager thought it was over as he took a couple of their key players off. He was probably thinking about Tuesday because we looked so comfortable. Initially our substitutes had a positive impact, Egli was getting at them on the right.

"I didn’t think there was a dip in performance, but they got the second goal because we made an error and we gave them the third goal, so that breathed new life into them. As good as the starting 11 were, I think it would be harsh to blame it on the subs. It was just about the errors we made and that gave them momentum and belief."

Pic credit: Ian Stephen, Pro Sports Images.

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