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Key change pleases Robbo after late equaliser

Head Coach on Wimbledon’s late fightback

6 March 2021

Mark Robinson said that the sense of frustration in the away dressing room after today’s draw at Blackpool provided a positive sign for the all-important home straight this season.

Despite earning a creditable draw at a venue where Blackpool are unbeaten since 20 October, our Head Coach sensed the disappointment from our players.

"There is still loads to come,” said Robbo. “ I wasn’t so pleased at 0-0 as I felt we caused our own problems. Once they got the goal I didn’t think we looked so nervous on the ball, but when we equalised we decided to cause problems for ourselves again. The difference now is that they were sitting in the dressing room absolutely frustrated with themselves that they hadn’t won the game. They are not congratulating themselves on getting a point, they are looking at why they haven’t won the game, and they are frustrated at why they went 1-0 down. These are the gains that I am seeing every day.

“I have got real belief in the way that I think you get players playing and the way that you get them believing in themselves. I am going to stick with that. I have got players who have been playing the game for nine years and I am probably saying things that are very different to them, but I am not going to change that and I have just said that to them. The more ownership they take is where the empowerment and the self belief comes from. We are going to continue with the processes because that is the only way forward.”

Mark made five substitutions again today, and he explained afterwards why it was necessary, as well as praising Ollie Palmer for his ‘excellent’ attitude after three months out injured.

“That first 15 minutes was the closest that I’ve seen us in terms of how I want us to play: we had intensity, we moved the ball quickly, and created chances. I know we were away from home, but that’s how I see us playing wherever we go. That’s how I see us playing and that was certainly pleasing. Then they had a little spell, but we got to grips with that. At the start of the second-half I felt that we created problems for ourselves and that’s still our Achilles heel. That led to the goal.

“I have talked about the intensity that I want us to play at, so if I think the intensity has dropped then I will do what I think is needed. All the lads brought the intensity up. I thought the lads already on were doing well as we were on top, but we needed more and it was just about fresh legs coming on. During the run-in I have to trust all the lads coming on to make an impact. That is exactly what I have said to them. I will utilise the substitutes because I believe that’s the way we have to play. With back to back games we need to do it to maintain the intensity.

“It has been frustrating for Ollie, but his attitude has been excellent to get himself back fit and you could see with his celebration how happy he was. I am chuffed for him. It is his job so he is going to come in every day and work hard, but you do see some players drop their heads. Ollie has come in every day and given it everything, so I am chuffed for him.”

Pic credit: Craig Galloway, Pro Sports Images.

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