Old face. New philosophy. Same passion. That’s what brought AFC Wimbledon CEO Joe Palmer to promote interim manager Mark Robinson to permanent head coach in February, prior to the conclusion of the 2020/21 season.
Finishing the 2020/21 campaign with four wins, three losses and three draws, Robinson and the Dons had little trouble scoring goals. However, entering into his first year as permanent head coach, Robinson and his staff will need to replace the attacking prowess of top-scorer Joe Pigott – ending the campaign with a team-high 21 goals (fourth best in Sky Bet League One).
Speaking in his press conference this week, Robinson said he expected Rovers to provide a difficult challenge.
On traveling to Keepmoat Stadium and the venue being difficult in the past for Wimbledon…
“First and foremost, you don’t look at history because it means absolutely nothing. You stay with 80% us, 20% them. There are things that [Doncaster Rovers] do that are very good and threats that they carry. We need to make sure we nullify those. But we need to have a massive emphasis on what we’re capable of, and make sure the players feel comfortable to implement that.”
On Richie Wellens and the similarities between Rovers and Wimbledon in style of play…
“They’re going to want to play, and they’re a good side and they play good football. If you don’t get things right, then they’ll hurt you. So, we need to be excellent off the ball, and make sure if we’re going to press, that we know when to go. If not, then we [need to be] in great shape because they’re going to carry a threat and they’re going to hurt you. We know exactly what to expect from them. But if you end up totally obsessed with what they’re going to do, then you don’t do anything yourself, and that’s not going to take us anywhere.”