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Interviews

“Exactly what we needed”

Reaction to a dramatic victory

27 January 2024

Interviews

“Exactly what we needed”

Reaction to a dramatic victory

27 January 2024

Johnnie Jackson was almost lost for words after seeing the Dons snatch three points at the death against Mansfield Town.

It appeared that Wimbledon would have to settle for a point against the 10-man Stags after Omar Bugiel’s opener was cancelled out by Will Swan’s equaliser.

However it was Ronan Curtis who stepped off the bench to score with more or less his first touch as a Don in injury time to send the Cherry Red Records Stadium wild.

Here Johnnie reflects on the drama of the afternoon and pays tribute to his squad after what has been a testing week.

ON BOUNCING BACK…

I don’t know how to put it into words to be honest – I think you saw in how I celebrated that winning goal, how much it meant to me, the players and the supporters.

To have that moment after such a low feeling on Tuesday – it was a tough week for everyone involved with the club, none more so than for our supporters. I asked for a reaction from my players and I think we saw that even if we didn’t play brilliantly.

We were good in the first-half but we probably played worse when they had 10 men. To have that moment together at the end with the fans is great and it was exactly what we needed.

ON RONAN CURTIS…

I’ve seen the quality that he’s got. I’ve seen it when I’ve come up against him before – he has top quality that is a level above. It was nice to get him on tonight first and foremost – it’s been a year without playing for him. If you give him a moment he can be a matchwinner. I’m delighted for him.

He’s brilliant around the place, even before he signed he was well into what we’re trying to do here. He wanted to be a part of things here. That gave us the confidence to get the deal done for him.

ON RYAN MCLEAN…

He came on and had a brilliant impact. His opportunities have been limited, he went away on loan and has come back and had to wait for his chance. Fair play to the lad, he’s come up with that little moment. It was a really great goal to win it. Worthy to win any game.

ON OMAR BUGIEL…

He took a whack and that’s why we had to bring him off. He wanted to come off just before he scored but I told him he had to stick in until half-time. He then produced that bit of quality, that magic that he’s got. We’ve missed that, he showed what a big player he is for us. Hopefully the knock won’t be too bad.

ON JOHN-KYMANI GORDON…

He did great, he was really bright and positive with everything that he did. He looked to get at people, deliver and get shots off. He was a great attacking outlet for us.

ON KICKING ON…

I said to the group on Tuesday that nights like that can be a catalyst. You can take a bad result like that on the chin and use it as fuel to come again or you can feel sorry for yourselves, go into your shells and fall off a cliff. My lads have shown what they’re about today, they’ve shown that fighting spirit. It wasn’t vintage us but we got it done.

PICS: Ian Stephen (Pro Sports Images)

 


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