Mark Robinson criticises players after giving up two-goal lead against Doncaster



Posted Sunday, February 27, 2022 by PA

Mark Robinson criticises players after giving up two-goal lead against Doncaster

Mark Robinson hit out as AFC Wimbledon’s unacceptable second-half display after they threw away a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw with Doncaster.

Headers from Jack Rudoni and Luke McCormick put the hosts two goals clear, only for Rovers’ match captain Tommy Rowe to square things up at Plough Lane.

Doncaster are still four points off AFC Wimbledon, who are 20th and just above the relegation zone, but Robinson said he was going to stop making excuses for his team.

“Leading up to their goal, we had four players around one player and they came away with the ball, crossed it and got a goal,” he said.

“Then our confidence drained away from us and they got the equaliser. I’ve got to find a ruthless streak. To be 2-0 up in the manner it was, it wasn’t good enough. It’s not acceptable.

“They put effort in, but they haven’t given everything. Giving everything is about body language, how you talk to your team-mates and how you drive each other on.

“I’ve got to stop saying they have given everything. I’ve protected them too much. They put effort in, but giving everything looks different.

“We were completely in control. I was really pleased with the second goal, that was us.

“Then you have to smell blood, and that comes through body language. They hadn’t offered a thing up until then.

“I don’t think they had a shot or done anything of purpose. You’re 2-0 up, and then you have to steamroll them.”

In contrast, Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey was delighted with the comeback and praised 33-year-old Rowe for inspiring the turnaround.

His 63rd-minute run into the box and shot low into the corner from a tight angle past the keeper changed the match and he then added a perfect header three minutes later to equalise in front of the 732 travelling fans.

“If you’d offered me a point at 60 minutes, I’d have snapped your hands off at 2-0 down,” he said.

“I said to the lads, you can’t afford to go 2-0 down. We have to organise a bit quicker and make better decisions out there.

“In saying that, the last half hour was superb. Johnny [Mitchell, goalkeeper] saved us at the end from a header. We’ve given too many free-kicks away in dangerous areas.

“[Tommy Rowe] He’s very important. He’s got the experience, he leads by example, he does the most running in the team most weeks.

“He knows what it takes, and today he knew what it took to get back into a game. He showed initiative and leadership skills.

“That’s why he’s wearing the armband. Age is just a number. He’s got experience, he knows the game and he knows how to prepare for games.”

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