Mark Robinson today confirmed that Ollie Palmer will be included in our squad for the away match at Cambridge United.
The Dons have had to do without Ollie for five weeks, but he came through training today with flying colours, and our physio Tim Maynard gave him the green light to get back involved after a calf injury.
“It’s a positive with Ollie," said Robbo. "He can’t start yet, but Tim has given him the okay to come off the bench if we need him. That’s a step in the right direction and having Ollie back is great.”
With Paul Kalambayi and Will Nightingale both out, Robbo was encouraged by Dan Csoka's display in the midweek Papa John's Trophy match.
“Dan did fine on Tuesday I thought. I gave him the option of playing 90 or 45 minutes, but because he hadn’t played loads of football he wanted to play the full match. I thought he got better and better as the game went on. Dan will give us that balance if he is in the side.”
Our Head Coach knows Cambridge boss Mark Bonner well from the days when they came up against each other as Under-18 managers of their respective clubs, and Robbo is expecting a tough match on Saturday.
“There are always ways to hurt teams, especially if we play how we know we can play, but they have a great team spirit and they are really effective at what they do," he added. "I know Mark quite well, and I know the togetherness they will have. They will be playing more than just for personal reward, it will be about the club. Their values will be very similar to us, and he has done a fantastic job. Their results recently have not been quite so positive, but it’s going to be a really tough game and one that we’ve got to be brilliant in off the ball, as well as on the ball.”
Robbo added that it had been a positive week at the training ground as he seeks to improve his young squad.
“It’s important not to panic," said Robbo. "We’ve had a really good week, and it’s always good because everyone knows they are coming in to improve and get better. We have a direction of where we want to go, and every week is forward-thinking and positive. You just want to see that they are learning and certain things will change over time, so that they just become intrinsic habits.
“A big thing with young players is understanding the perception of relentless hard work and getting that aligned with my perception of relentless hard work. All these things take time. If it just comes from me shouting and hollering it goes away as quickly as you get it. It has to come from them, and if it takes time then that’s the way it has to be. That’s the only way it has any value in the long-term."
Click on the link below to listen to Rob Cornell's full interview with Robbo.