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Rob backs Ayoub to learn from his early season suspension

Team news and views from our Assistant Head Coach as the Dons prepare for Rotherham

27 September 2021

Rob Tuvey believes that Ayoub Assal will learn the lessons highlighted by our coaching staff in recent days after picking up a suspension that rules him out of the trip to Rotherham.

A fifth booking of the season in the defeat at Shrewsbury means that our 19-year-old attacking talent sits out the trip to South Yorkshire.

Speaking at the training ground today, our Assistant Head Coach said: “It’s frustrating. He’s a young lad and he will learn from this experience. He doesn’t want to miss games of football, and ultimately it’s not what he did on Saturday that means he will miss out. It’s about what he has done before, but he’s got to educate himself and reflect honestly on this and go, ‘did I pick up any silly bookings in the previous games leading up to this?’ I think he will find that he probably did, so he will learn from that experience and move on from it.

“The type of player he is he always needs that bit of protection (from referees), but I do think that if you look at his five bookings a couple were for dissent and taking his shirt off. They are things that he doesn’t need to do. He wants to be on the pitch, he loves his football, and his passion for football is unrivalled in terms of any players that I’ve coached before. I think he’s got to look at himself and think, ‘what’s the best way that I can keep myself on that pitch every week?’ I don’t think those silly yellow cards are needed. It’s for us as coaching staff to educate him, and to say, ‘listen, it’s a complement, and if they are kicking you then you must be doing something right’. We can move forward from there.”

Rob added that Ollie Palmer (calf) and Paul Kalambayi (quad) are the only first-team players currently injured. There was also good news to report about first year professional Luke Jenkins – a defender regarded as  a real prospect for the future.

“Everyone else (that were involved on Saturday) have trained today, and we go up there with a fully fit squad, apart from PK and Ollie," Rob added. "We did have Luke Jenkins out there training with us today, which was great to see, and we welcomed him back. He will need about two months of training, so a mini pre-season for him, and then we will look to get him that experience of going out on loan.”

There’s certainly no panic amongst our coaching staff after recent defeats, and Rob said that they have reinforced the key messages that have been successful since Robbo was appointed.

“When we started on this journey we put a process in place and what we’ve seen over the last few days is that we’ve gone back to that that again. We’ve come in today, and reflected honestly on our performances. We know that defeats are going to happen, but what we’ve got beneath us is that process. We believe in it so much that we just get back onto the training pitch and we keep hammering home our methods.

“The biggest message we’ve delivered is that we’ve got to have more honest conversations. I know they don’t want to be known as a young squad, but they are learning, and I think with every game they are going to become stronger for it as well. I feel that the process is there to help them, and we’ve got a really good educational environment here. We are not going to come in and give them loads of abuse or anything like that. Instead we are going to come in, educate them, and look at ways we are going to improve. The main thing is to look at what we need to improve upon and grow together.”

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

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