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Match Reports

Karl: Players worked their socks off

12 October 2013

Karl Robinson praised his players valiant efforts in their wake of their 2-1 defeat to Leyton Orient.

Despite taking the lead midway through the first half courtesy of Patrick Bamford’s 11th goal of the season, the Dons were pegged back by two clinical finishes from Moses Odubajo and then Kevin Lisbie either side of the break.

The result saw the Dons’ losing streak extend to a third game as they slipped one place to eighth in the League 1 table. Robinson, though, believes his players’ endeavors should have been rewarded with, at least, a point. 

Speaking afterwards, the 33-year-old said: “I think if you asked anybody in the crowd today they would say a defeat towards us was fair. I was critical of the boys on Tuesday but I got the response I was looking for.

“We were slow to start, yes, but then we were by far the better team. We were on top for large parts of that second half and had the best two chances other than their goal, which was really fortunate - the lad’s meant to go one way with his touch and it’s gone the other and he’s scored.

“But I couldn’t have asked anymore from my players. I thought they worked their socks off today and they did everything they could for the Football Club. All I ask of these players is that they work hard and they play the way we want to play and I thought today they certainly did that.”

Robinson was forced into making four changes prior to kick-off with no less than six players unavailable for selection due to injury and international call-ups.

It’s been over a month since Robinson has been able to name an unchanged side and the Liverpudlian feels the constant changing is what is playing a role in the side’s lack of fluency, which potentially cost them a victory this afternoon.

“If I was going to be critical of us, I would say we don’t seem to have that fluency that we had at the beginning of the season,” he added. 

“We seem to be a little bit periodic in how we play our football and that’s purely down to the players we’ve had out and the changes we’re constantly making. 

“People are playing with different players around them and so they seem to be questioning themselves. If you look at the midfield two, it’s been difficult for them the last three or four games because everything around them is constantly changing.

“Once we can settle down and get our group together we’ll be a really good team. If we had that opportunity to name the same team every week you’d see us in a much different position.”

Finally, Robinson praised the performance of defender Tom Flanagan, who bounced back from his disappointing outing away at Gillingham last week to put in an assured performance at the back and striker Izale McLeod, who made an impact coming off the bench in the second half.

“It was a decision I was pondering all week, whether or not to play Tom. I do believe in playing young players and he certainly didn’t let us down today, I thought he was man of the match.

“I thought Izale made an impression on the game. He always makes a tremendous impact when he comes off the bench, he changes the game. When he’s started he maybe hasn’t been as prominent as when he’s come on in the final 25 minutes.”

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