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Robbo: The performance is everything - not the points

Interim Manager on the important victory at Wigan

6 February 2021

Mark Robinson guided the Dons to a first victory as Interim Manager, but he said that assessing the performance was more important than the points.

Speaking after the 3-2 win at Wigan, Mark was keen to stress the importance of building consistent performances and moving the team forward, rather than glowing in the feeling of victory.

“I feel reflective,” said Mark. “I don’t think it’s my job to feel happy, or sad, or indifferent. I need to be reflective because if I am anything else it means I am taking my eye off the ball on what we need to do and where we need to go. I am reflecting now on what worked, why it worked, and what didn’t work. It is just three points and it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean everything is better or cured. The performance is everything. It is processes and performances. My job is to look and reflect. The players can enjoy the moment, but by time it gets to Sunday at 9pm I expect them to be looking ahead to Monday and reflecting as well.

“I was really pleased with the first 35 minutes. I thought we played some really good football. I thought we had an identity and stuff we had worked on was working. It looked like they were enjoying their football, but at 2-0 it is a long road to where you need to get to. For 35 minutes, I felt we were close to where I want us to be if I get the opportunity, but you have to enjoy winning. When you are winning 2-0, people often say, ‘the next goal is dangerous’, but I think that gets into the heads of players and we have to get to the stage where you have that confidence and belief to stay on the front foot. No matter what they throw at you, the team can find different ways. That is what the best teams do.”

Mark praised two-goal Joe Pigott for his contribution on the day, the forward having struck 15 goals so far this season.

"I don’t think he started as well as I would have liked. He has had a dip in confidence, but what I loved is that he worked his way through that, and he ended up having a massive impact on the game for us, which was great. I know Joe quite well as a person and I want him to concentrate on his game. Nothing is cured overnight, you make decisions and see how it works. It is an ongoing process. Taking the captain’s armband off him isn’t going to be the cure of anything, I just think with the kind of player he is it’s better for him to concentrate on his own game.”

Mark added that conceding goals from set pieces was something the coaching staff and squad will be working hard to eradicate after it almost cost them three points today.

"The staff we have had working on set pieces had been watching Wigan from those situations and they had been very clever in their previous matches, everything was short and with different movement. Today, they delivered everything. I talked to our boys at the end about that and that’s an adaptability thing. We talked to them about being bright for short set pieces and Wigan didn’t do that as they put them in with quality. We had to defend them and that’s part of their education. Football is about adapting to changing pictures and that’s what training has to bring out.”

Pic credit: Paul Thompson, Pro Sports Images.

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