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McSheffrey delighted with character in Wimbledon comeback

27 February 2022

Rovers boss Gary McSheffrey hailed the character of his side as they fought back from two goals down to earn an important point at AFC Wimbledon in Sky Bet League One.

Having trailed at the hour mark courtesy of goals from Jack Rudoni and Luke McCormick, Rovers roared into life and a quick-fire double from captain Tommy Rowe saw them draw level.

Neither side could find the winner but both went close, with Ben Jackson seeing an effort cleared off the line while Jonathan Mitchell made a superb save deep into stoppage time.

McSheffrey believes Rovers are increasingly suited to handling setbacks and recovering during matches as they continue their development under the manager.

On the character shown in making the comeback:

“Eight weeks ago, I don’t think we come back from that.

“We’re starting to see some team spirit and character in a big way now, and some self-belief.

“It’s a big improvement in terms of a comeback and not losing a game of football when we’re two goals down.

“We’ll take it and we’ll move on.”

On how the game played out:

“If you’d have offered me a point on 60 minutes then I’d have snapped your hand off, with us being two down.

“I said to the lads that we can’t afford to wait until we’re two down with 60 minutes gone to start playing.

“It was a really poor first half, with no composure, people looking nervous and panicky on the ball and making poor decisions.

“The first goal they scored was cheap. We have to organise a bit quicker and make better decisions.

“But on saying that the last half hour was superb. Tommy Rowe was brilliant with two great goals, Kyle Knoyle with two good assists and we could have won it.

“On the other hand, Johnny [Mitchell] has saved us at the end from their header.”

On Tommy Rowe leading by example:

“The lads were looking around for someone to do something and he’s done that.

“Knoyley has put a good ball into him at the back post. We felt putting him out on the left that he’d be a threat to their right back and he showed great composure to bring the ball down on his chest, shift it and shoot.

“With the second one it’s another great ball in from Knoyley and he’s freed himself up, rose like a salmon and put in a great header.”

On another important result:

“I’m satisfied with the result after going two goals down.

“The run Wimbledon are on, they’re no whipping boys - that is a ninth draw in 15 for them. It’s not like they’re getting peppered and losing heavily.

“It’s a difficult place to come so we’ll take the point and get back on the bus.

“You look at the scores elsewhere and everyone is rolling their sleeves up and having a go.

“There’s been some big wins so it keeps it quite tight.”


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