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Match Reports

Robbo: Could have won it

5 January 2013

Karl Robinson felt his side deserved to walk away from Hillsborough with a victory after they played out a 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round.

The Dons had chances to win the tie and book a spot in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup, most notably through Ryan Harley and Shaun Williams, who both saw efforts saved by the experienced Stephen Bywater in the second-half.

But Robinson, whose team will be represented, along with the Owls, in Sunday’s draw by ball number 32, was pleased with the players who continue to impress in the absence of several key first-teamers.

Speaking after the game, the 32-year-old said: “I thought over the ninety minutes we were the better team. Our players were excellent today and they conducted themselves really well. Our passing was fantastic and we definitely showed what we’re all about.

“We’re without some key individuals so it was important we played well and I thought we did that and gave a fantastic account of ourselves.

“I also thought our fans were brilliant as well. It means a lot to us when we come and out and hear them throughout the game and also when they stay out to applaud afterwards.

“Granted we haven’t won today, but we’re going to take Sheffield Wednesday back home in a couple of weeks time in what will be a very exciting Cup tie.

“Sheffield Wednesday are a very good Football Club which deserved its promotion last year but we deserved to win this game today - I thought we were very, very good.”

The Dons’ lack of numbers was highlighted before kick-off when Robinson could only name five substitutes out of a possible seven, with three of those replacements under the age of 17. However, the Dons’ manager reserved special praise for his young starlets, in particular Giorgio Rasulo and Dele Alli who helped see out the draw after coming on as second-half substitutes.

“We finished the game with a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old on the pitch in Dele Alli and Giorgio Rasulo which is brilliant for their development and for this Football Club. 

“Dele, for example, has been with us a couple of weeks now and so when we do bring him on it’s like bringing on a first-teamer and not an academy player. He’s just evidence of what I always say - if you’re good enough, whatever age, you’ll play.”

The Dons will now host Sheffield Wednesday in a replay at stadiummk on the week commencing 14th January, in-between npower League 1 clashes with Bury and Crewe Alexandra. And despite the fixture congestion, Robinson is looking forward to challenge of taking on the Championship outfit at MK1 in just over a week’s time.

“Results haven’t been too good over the Christmas period at home but we still see it as a fortress and so we’re looking forward to a very exciting tie.

“It’s not very often that teams have to come back to stadiummk in a replay so we’re glad to be going back home and hopefully we’ll be able to put on a performance.”

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