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Robbo praises Ayoub Assal after his landmark goal

Post-match reaction after 1-1 draw

2 March 2021

Mark Robinson saluted 19-year-old Ayoub Assal after he marked his league debut with a vital goal at Shrewsbury tonight.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw, which came after Assal’s 84th minute equaliser, Robbo said: “He’s not a good frame, or a good size, but he’s a good footballer! I am really pleased for him and I am really pleased that I had it in me to put him on. I believe in the lad and I am not saying he is going to feature every week, but I thought he was excellent, apart from his goal. He made things happen, he ran off the back of people, so I’m really pleased. It’s really lucky that the academy believed in him. I am not saying he’s going to turn our season, but we will dip him in and out and see how he goes. It was a great night for him, but he was also the one picking the ball out of the net and running back to the halfway line because he wanted to score again. That’s the character I’ve been talking about.”

Robbo was far from happy with his side’s display at Shrewsbury as he wants the players to show more conviction in attacking situations.

“I know Shrewsbury had managed to get some really good results here and there were elements I was pleased with, but I felt in the second-half we could have taken the game by the scruff of the neck,” added our Head Coach. "We didn’t do enough and the substitutes lifted it a bit, but I had said to them if we are ever going to lose a match let’s do it on the front foot by taking it to the opposition. That’s what I want to see more and some of our decision making wasn’t good enough. We got into good areas and the final pass wasn’t good enough.

"I want us having more football discussions because we haven’t got enough time on the training pitch. We are lucky if we are getting one day a week with the schedule we have got, so I want them having more football conversations within their units, working out how they can be more of a threat. Week in and week out we have to be able to score goals. There is only so much we can do on the training pitch.”

On the goal conceded from a set piece, Robbo said: “We need to look at that. Andy has gone through defensive set pieces and we didn’t send the right people out at the right time. It was a good finish, but we didn’t put enough pressure on the ball. Are they talking enough? Are they getting enough clarity? Are they asking Andy, ‘is this exactly what you want?’ Andy was fuming and he has come in and apologised to me, saying that he knows he told them. You have to live and breathe it and every day you need to have these conversations, know what your jobs are, and then those goals don’t happen.”

You can watch Robbo’s full interview with Rob Cornell by clicking on the link below. Pic credit: Simon Davies, Pro Sports Images.

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