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A meeting until midnight at Plough Lane

Our Head Coach provides an update ahead of the match at the Memorial Stadium

11 March 2021

Mark Robinson said that a meeting with the players in the aftermath of Tuesday’s defeat at the hands of Burton has strengthened his belief that the Dons can stay up this season.

Our Head Coach was lifted by the response from the squad with several staying on late into the night to thrash out the best way to put the defeat fully behind them.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Bristol Rovers on Saturday, Robbo said: “Obviously, the coaching staff care, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. People question the players, but we left at midnight after the game and that is because six of the players stayed back and wanted to talk. That doesn’t mean the others don’t care as they were there for long enough, but six of the players stayed for longer and they just wanted to talk through how we can improve.

"They believe there has been a huge improvement in lots of things, but they wanted to talk about the things we lacked on Tuesday and what we can do moving forward. We all sat down and had a long discussion about all manner of things, which is great because it gave me a chance to talk to them about how I see things. That’s why I know that they genuinely care and they want to get out of the position we are in. That’s why I believe we will.

“You can’t make people perform unless you know them and know what they are thinking. I know this is longer term stuff and I realise we have a short-term problem right now to get out of it, but you need to know what people are thinking. You can change or empower them, or make them see things differently, if they open up and talk to you. It didn’t bring us three points on Tuesday night, but for me it’s just another game moving forward.”

Robbo’s interview at the training ground today included a message to supporters that the players have what it takes to keep Wimbledon in League One for another season.

“Stay positive and stay with us,” he added. “We’ve taken eight points from seven games, which is not as many as I would like. The reason we are where we are isn’t because we have taken eight points from seven games, it’s because we took two from 33 before that. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, it’s just a fact. I think we’ve shown recently that we can take points and with the way we are working on processes I believe there are plenty more points to come and that we will get them.

“I don’t like to make excuses about anything, but the only slight issue is with the turnaround times because you don’t get the time that you want. I spoke to Chris (McConnell, Sports Scientist) and Tim (Maynard, physio) and I said that I at least needed to get the lads out on the training pitch to do some walk throughs today. We did get out there to do some shape work and to take forward the meeting we had about carrying a threat onto the pitch, so at least tomorrow I am not going over it completely fresh. They know what I’m looking at, so for the length of time that we get tomorrow on the pitch they can go straight into it. It’s just about making sure we use the time we have together wisely and that’s what we are doing.”

Ethan Chislett is likely to miss the trip to the Memorial Stadium with an achilles tendon strain, an injury that kept him out of the midweek match versus Burton.

“We are looking okay. There are a couple of little niggles here and there, but the main one is Ethan and Saturday is likely to come too soon for him. He was out training today, but we just have to see how he reacts. If he is not ready for Saturday he will be ready for Tuesday.

“If it keeps flaring up you are going to end up not having him, so we would rather wait so that it settles down properly and have him for long-term than keep trying to patch him up and he is in for one game and then out again, so it’s just a case of being patient with him.”

Click on the link below to watch Rob Cornell’s full interview with Mark Robinson.

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