Old face. New philosophy. Same passion.
Those were the factors behind the decision to promote Mark Robinson from interim to permanent head coach of AFC Wimbledon last February.
Robinson has been with the Dons since 2004, working in the Centre of Excellence and Academy before roles as lead Professional Phase coach, loan manager and first team coach until he was handed the managerial reigns on an interim basis in January 2021.
Robinson on AFC Wimbledon’s goalless draw with Gillingham on Tuesday:
“Lack of quality, that’s the key. You can’t say we haven’t dug in, but lack of quality.
“You can see there’s a lack of confidence on the ball. They certainly defended and done all those things that got us the point.
“But for us to kick on again, we’ve got to get our swagger back. That’s hard, obviously, when you’re on the run we’re on [at the moment]. We’ve got to get our belief back, and that’s what we need to work on.
“We did show some character, we dug in at the end. We put our bodies on the line, but again, there was still a lack of quality.”
Robinson on the mindset of the team during their current run:
“If you go back to early in the season when you have two, three options and everyone wants the ball. And that’s the mental side of it when you are where we are.
“You become ‘safe’ when you’re in a run like this, when you haven’t got that movement and that freedom. And that’s what we’ve got to search for so we can get the win, and we can start looking forward…and that will happen.
“When you’re a young side, we have to keep them believing; the mental side of the game is massive. It’s about getting that belief back into them.
“Once we get that first win, I’m confident we’re capable of going on a run.”
Robinson on what he needs to do to spark a change in results:
“I’ve got to find ways of trying to relax them and find quality, so that the ball starts to find the back of the net. Then we can kick on and move. But the result in midweek is another point away from Morecombe. So, we have to accept that.
“The players have had a really good chat. The things that they’re saying are all the right things in terms of how they’re going to kick on from now.
“So, I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Robinson on the positives heading into the clash with Rovers:
“We have players coming back. That’s no disrespect to players who played tonight, but we obviously have Luke McCormick back for Saturday. So, that is an upturn in performance.
“The competition’s there now, and we’ll have some fresh legs ready for these next games. That’s a positive.”