Mark Robinson praised match-winner Jack Rudoni for his overall display after a rampant second-half performance brushed Oxford United aside at Plough Lane.
Speaking after the rousing 3-1 home win, our Head Coach said: “Jack has to remember what sort of player he needs to be. Today, he was that sort of player, so I’m just as pleased about the five defensive headers he won from corners, and the other work he did off the ball. I know he’s a really good footballer.
“A lot of the young players need to understand that there are things they’ve got to work on. It was three points and there were some really pleasing things, but there were also lots of things off the ball that we need to be better at and that’s where the nurturing and the learning environment comes in. They will get better, but for today Jack’s performance was a complete performance.”
Robbo added that it was the kind of occasion he had dreamed of being involved in – a stirring victory in front of a packed Plough Lane against one of the division’s leading lights.
“You dream about things like that. The atmosphere was incredible and the second-half performance was pleasing. It was an emotional day with the tribute to Jack (Lonergan). It was great and the players have to enjoy it, before they get back to work on Monday.
“I pinch myself on a regular basis to be honest – the club means so much to me. There are things that happen on a day to day basis that make you think it’s real. I actually went and met someone about it and there’s a thing called imposter syndrome. You only want to feel you’ve arrived when you’ve achieved things, but it’s a nice feeling today.
“I think they are a fantastic side that play really good football, so we need to take belief from it, but you can’t take confidence from the three points. You have to take confidence from the performance and that includes looking at the things we need to be better at. It should give them belief that we’ve gone toe to toe with a side that we know are going to be up there. They need to take confidence from that.”
Robbo was delighted with the reactions of Will Nightingale and Anthony Hartigan after they bounced back from bad moments in the first-half to make vital contributions.
“I thought we had a bizarre 15 minutes, everyone remembers the end of a half, but for 30 minutes before that I felt it was just a really good game of football. We had a lot of opportunities in the first-half to create something, and it didn’t quite happen. I talked to the lads about that. Then for the last 15 minutes of the first-half we just started doing some strange things. I talked to Ant and Will separately, and I thought that Ant’s reaction was fantastic, and so was Will’s reaction because he got a goal and an assist. I had said to Will, ‘make sure I don’t have to take you off', and I had no reason to.
“You can’t be knee-jerk – I know they are good players, but mentally they can do things for various reasons. It was so key that I made them realise how much trust I’ve got in them and what good players they are. They’ve got to kick on now, keep that belief, and be the best versions of themselves."
Pic credit: Jason Brown, Pro Sports Images.