Mark Bowen was pleased with how his players responded to his half-time team talk as they fought hard for a deserved point against Charlton Athletic.
A cagey and somewhat moot first half came and went before all the action was played out in the second 45 minutes, starting with a straight red card for the visitors’ Ryan Inniss.
Though Charlton opened the scoring with a man less, the Dons kept going and the pressure eventually told, with Zach Robinson claiming his first league goal for the Dons.
Bowen certainly saw the positives, but stressed that we need to start turning these improved performances into much-needed victories.
“We’ve got to try and keep this club in this league," he said. "We’ve got to get wins; we’ve got to get points. In the first half I personally thought we were poor. We started slowly, we were passive, and a few choice words were said at half time.
"The key thing was that we went out in the second-half and everything we said to them, they took on board. There was an urgency in our play, we were on the front foot, we were in their faces, we were putting them under pressure and creating chances. That’s the way we've got to go forward if we want to get out of this mess that we’ve got into.
“They’ve had one cross; one header and they’ve scored a goal – that’s the way things go sometimes when you’re in this situation. We bounced back well and got the goal that we deserved. From then on, I was thinking we were going to win it.”
Of course, the main highlight of the second period and the one which set up such a big grandstand finish was Robinson’s well taken goal, following a fine bit of play from substitute Ethan Chislett.
“Zach is 19-years-old, in a relegation dogfight and we’re asking him to run the channels and do the defensive work. I can’t knock him.
“Ethan came on to create the goal and looked like he really wanted to make something happen for this team. Dapo (Mebude) also came on and created two great chances.”
Plough Lane was naturally buoyant for this big game under the lights and the home faithful certainly got behind their team when they needed it most – something which the gaffer was grateful for.
“The support that our lads got from our fans – I never heard a discerning voice within the crowd – I said to the players that they are very lucky to have that.”
Pic credit: Toyin Oshodi, Pro Sports Images.