Mark Robinson said that Ollie Palmer is fit enough to make a greater contribution after his promising cameo at Cambridge last Saturday.
The Dons host non league Guiseley on Saturday at the Cherry Red Records Stadium and ahead of the match we caught up with Robbo for the latest from the training ground. Our Head Coach reported that Ollie is shaping up well after recovering from a calf injury, and Robbo also talked enthusiastically about the Emirates FA Cup and getting the squad ready to meet tomorrow’s challenge.
Below are the main points from Robbo’s interview:
The importance of the FA Cup
“I love the FA Cup. For me, it’s still the greatest club cup competition in the world. I’m excited for the FA Cup and we are all looking forward to it.
“There are loads of clubs that haven’t won the FA Cup, but we can say we’ve won it. The lads in the FA Youth Cup the other night knew there was pressure to perform. It’s the same with us because the club has got that tradition in the FA Cup. We will be looking to continue that and have a great run in the competition.
“We want to do well in all the competitions and we were obviously pleased with the run we had in the Carabao Cup. Though the squad is a little light at the moment, we are aiming to have a good run in the FA Cup and get our form back to where it needs to be in the league."
Preparing for the challenge of facing Guiseley
“We’ve given them the respect they deserve by having a look at what they do, and they like to play. They are a big, strong, physical side, but they also like to play football. We realise how good we are going to need to be to go through to the next round.”
“Ollie, if selected, should be able to play a bigger part. That’s something I have to think about as regards to what we are going to do tomorrow.
“We are all good, apart from Paul Osew, who had a positive Covid test yesterday, so he has had to isolate, but everyone else is good to go.”
Aiming to recapture our attacking early season style
“Win, lose or draw, we have to be ourselves. What I tried to explain to the lads (after Cambridge) is that when you don’t see things through off the ball you can put a hell of a lot of concentration into that and you forget what you are on the ball. I really don’t want us to go away from what we are on the ball because I feel that’s what got the fans excited earlier in the season. If you look at the Oxford, Bolton, and Morecambe games, those matches built the attachment with the fans. That’s what’s attracts new fans, and it’s so important that we keep that.
“Whoever you come up against, there are two ways to nullify the opposition. One is to be really good off the ball and see your jobs through, but fundamentally the strongest approach is for us to be better on the ball and carry more of a threat. That’s what we need to do on Saturday, but against all the sides we play, even if we come up against a club with a big budget and big expectations. Our end goal is to get to the stage where we go toe to toe with anyone.
“Looking at the bigger picture, it’s so important that it transfers straight through the academy, so that they can see a style. James and all the other age group coaches know how we want to play, and it needs to be seamless throughout the club. That will help us to grow.”
Click on the link below to listen to Rob Cornell's full interview with our Head Coach.