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Mark: It was difficult to take

Manager's post-match reaction

2 April 2022

Mark Bowen couldn’t hide his disappointment after seeing his AFC Wimbledon side get harshly beaten at the death by Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon.

The Dons gave everything against a side chasing the play-offs and we could even have left Hillsborough with all three points as Ayoub Assal came close to winning it, before the hosts snatched victory.

Alas, it wasn’t to be and as a result Lee Gregory’s late header earned the Owls a victory that they hardly deserved on the balance of play in what was Bowen’s first game in charge.

“It was difficult to take," said Mark. "This wonderful game of ours has a habit of kicking you when you’re down. Up until the 92nd minute our game plan worked perfectly well. Emotionally, it kills you. A few minutes earlier Ayoub had a one-on-one with their keeper and with their goal perhaps it was a bit of mental fatigue that has caused people to switch off.”

Bowen chose to line his side up in a three at the back formation in an attempt to nullify the threats that the hosts posed. To our credit, the players carried out the plan to the letter with only a handful of momentary lapses costing us in the end as we put in a promising performance.

“We tried to match them up more than anything," explained Mark. "We nullified two of their threats. Henry and Paul did their jobs admirably well. I think we can take that extra pass in midfield. At times we were a bit erratic in transition. I thought Ayoub and Zach were excellent up front. These things are key, and we have to keep our belief.”

It is admittedly another setback in our quest to remain in League One but at the same time we don’t have time to rest on our laurels, with two big home games on the horizon – a message that our manager was only too keen to reinforce.

“It happens and we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We have to take the positives from this game and get points on the board.”

Pic credit: Ian Stephen, Pro Sports Images.

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