Mark Robinson felt that Wimbledon’s game plan went out of the window today – and he said that the players must be more flexible to adapt to the opposition's tactics.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw at the Cherry Red Records Stadium today, Robbo said: “We had been watching analysis and it’s so important that the players are learners about the game. The footage we had watched of Burton showed that they are not defensive at all, they are a high pressing side and they are aggressive. Our whole game plan was to draw them out because they press you and then we could find space with our two number 10s to hurt them, but that didn't happen. They knew that if they went with a high press we had the ability to hurt them.
“I said to the boys that they’ve got to be able to recognise how the game is going. Burton sat in their shape and we were having nine or 10 passes around the back, before going long. We were detached and they were coming back at us. We were ineffective, so that’s why we went to a 4-3-3, and we ended up playing around the outside of them. It’s so important that our players understand what’s going on because we can’t wait until half-time to change it. Even in the shape we had in the first-half there was no reason why the number 10s couldn’t go wide, offering the width we needed. Ayoub was pulled out wide to give us the width in the second-half.”
Luke McCormick’s dramatic goal today was certainly no surprise to Robbo as he has witnessed his ability at close hand – and he believes there’s plenty more to come from the attacking midfielder.
“He had a brilliant week training, his best session yesterday, and I was going to get ‘Chis’ on if I’m honest at the set piece,” added Robbo. “He has been really bright in training and Rob said, 'shall we do it now?' Luckily, I said, ‘no, let’s wait’ and he got the goal. It’s taking a little bit of settling in for Luke to show what we want, but he’s getting very good off the ball, as well as on the ball, which is what we need from all of the players. There are others that have to get better off the ball as well.”
Robbo believes that Anthony Hartigan will be stronger after coming through a difficult experience today. The 21-year-old midfielder made an uncharacteristic error today, in stark contrast to the superb form he has shown this season.
“I’ve already spoken about it with Ant, and these things happen to the best,” said Robbo. “When you want to be a side that’s capable of building up it’s really important still that your first thought is always forward, and sometimes our thoughts have been backwards first. I showed Ant the goal and I said, ‘if your first thought was forward you touch in front, and then we can play forward’. As we can build up his first thought was back, he hasn’t seen the player, and he made an error. You’ve seen the best do it, Gerrard has got caught, they’ve all got caught. You would rather it didn’t happen, you don’t want to concede a cheap goal, but it will make him better than he already is.”
Pic credit: Ian Stephen, Pro Sports Images.
Click on the link below to listen to Rob Cornell’s full interview with Robbo.