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Robbo: We didn’t play to our strengths

Post-match reaction from our Head Coach

6 November 2021

Mark Robinson felt that his players produced a nervy display against Guiseley today, but he was pleased with the way they stood up to the physical challenge.

Speaking after the 1-0 victory that earned a place in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup, Robbo said: “It was a really difficult fixture in terms of how it panned out. I don’t want to say they are a physical side because I felt they played some good football as well, but we knew that to win the game we were going to have to move the ball really quickly and play to our strengths. We didn’t really do that, and I thought first-half that we played into traps and we caused ourselves problems, but towards the end of the half we scored and we started to open up some space. We talked at half-time and we just said, ‘more of that, but at the same time don’t play into traps’.

“I think the lads took it too literally because we went really direct early on. We didn’t have any ball retention and that gave them the momentum. It became a real struggle and I think the lads could feel that the fans were getting frustrated as well.

"We are trying to build a style of play, we’ve seen what we are capable of playing, but possibly the lads started to hide a bit and technically we were off it. We looked nervous, but if you look at the results there were plenty of teams that didn’t get through against lower league opposition. Right now, we will take it that we got through. The one positive I can take is that we faced a barrage of long throws, but we stood up to that, which will be great experience for the future."

Our Head Coach was quick to praise our opponents today for matching a Wimbledon side three divisions above them for long spells.

“I thought they were excellent and in these games the opposition are going to find that extra 20  per cent,” added Robbo. “The way that you nullify that with the side we’ve got is to wear them down. The plan wasn’t to have the ball at the back at all. The plan was to move the ball quickly and play through them, to play to our strengths, but apart from that 15 minutes in the first-half that never materialised and it became difficult. Football is about momentum and we didn’t gain any momentum.

“The lads are learning to get some know-how. We can coach certain things, but you can’t coach know-how. That’s only going to come with experience. We’ve got to stick together and move on from what wasn’t a great performance. Fundamentally, it was a positive result. The lads know that they’ve got to be better and we will be.”

Pic credit: Ian Stephen, Pro Sports Images.

Click on the link below to listen to Rob Cornell’s full interview with Robbo.

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