BY EDMUND BRACK
Alex Woodyard has opened up on the “robust” season AFC Wimbledon have skilled however believes that the squad have demonstrated that they’ve the struggle to outlive the drop from League One.
The Dons discover themselves languishing within the backside 4 of the third tier and are on a 24-game winless run in all competitions that stretches again to early December.
Nevertheless, since Mark Bowen changed Mark Robinson as supervisor following the 1-0 loss at dwelling to Cambridge United, they’ve picked up two attracts towards Charlton Athletic and Milton Keynes.
There are 4 video games remaining in League One, together with two fixtures which might outline their season towards sides round them within the desk, for the Dons to shut the hole to the groups above them and safe security.
“I do get that feeling that persons are writing us off, and that’s advantageous, but it surely’s only a three-point hole on the finish of the day,” the 28-year-old Wimbledon captain instructed the South London Press.
“There are 4 video games to play, so we’ve to point out struggle and braveness, however I’ve by no means doubted that we gained’t get the job completed.
“We should always have simply taken extra from the final three video games than we most likely have.
“Typically whenever you’re down there, you’re preventing, and also you’re hoping for slightly little bit of luck, it does go towards you – that’s simply the place we’re in.
“You’ll be able to’t moan. On the finish of the day, we’ve had three video games and never taken as many factors as we might have appreciated.
“We haven’t been rewarded for our performances, however a very powerful factor is that the performances are good.
“Now we have 4 video games to go, and with good and strong performances heading into this ultimate set of fixtures, and off the again of the three good performances we’ve simply had, I consider that can preserve us secure.”
Mark Robinson’s departure delivered to an finish his 18-year stint on the membership, with the previous head coach holding numerous roles inside the membership’s academy earlier than turning into first-team head coach and guiding the Dons to survival final season.
“It has been a shock as a result of Robbo spent an enormous period of time on the soccer membership,” admits Woodyard when requested about Robinson’s departure.
“Particularly for the younger gamers, he was a giant a part of their lives – he spent an excessive amount of time with them and introduced a whole lot of them by way of to the primary workforce.
“It was robust for the entire soccer membership, not only for the gamers, however the employees and the followers too. However everyone knows what soccer is like as an business – it’s laborious.
“You simply must attempt to transfer on. The gamers are simply actually targeted on holding the soccer membership within the division.
“Now we have an awesome set of lads, and it has really been fairly stunning how optimistic and down to earth our boys have been since Robbo left.
“It has made my and the senior lads’ jobs that little bit simpler. I’m not saying that the performances earlier than weren’t good, however everyone seems to be shopping for into it, and everybody has that very same goal of holding this membership in League One.”
Whereas Halifax City are the one facet to have prevented relegation from its respective league after recording a run of greater than 20 video games with no win within the 1978-79 season – however that was solely after they have been re-elected – Woodyard would nonetheless be in no temper to rejoice survival.
“For me, I gained’t take a look at it as a optimistic. Essentially, I consider that I converse on behalf of all of the gamers after I say that we by no means anticipated and by no means wished to be within the place that we’re in.
“We owe it to the soccer membership and the followers to remain within the league. Will we rejoice? Yeah, will probably be good and an achievement, however you rejoice promotions, not staying within the division for me.
“This yr has been robust. Now we have had fairly a couple of accidents, and we misplaced Ollie Palmer to Wrexham, who was a giant a part of how the workforce performed.
“However this occurs to soccer groups, and we’ve to respect the place that we’re in as a soccer membership – we haven’t bought the most important price range within the league, and we don’t have as many sources as different groups on this league. There are different groups who shouldn’t be on this division.
“If we will get by way of it, we are going to look again and be pleased with ourselves. We’re the place we’re for a motive – we will’t run away from the truth that we’re preventing for our lives.
“However with the expertise on present, we will’t fairly consider that we’re on this place, however we’re. Once we handle to remain up, will probably be an awesome studying curve for all of our senior and younger gamers.
“Though the season has not gone how we wished, there’ll nonetheless be a whole lot of positives to take from it after we do keep up.”
The Dons journey to already relegated and backside of the desk Crewe Alexandra at present, and Woodyard hopes that these current performances can lastly yield the three elusive three factors they’ve been chasing for greater than 4 months.
“It’s a sport that we’re seeking to win – we’re solely going there, in our minds, to win a sport of soccer.
“Like all sport at this degree, no sport is simple. We all know that we aren’t going to give you the chance simply toturn up and win a sport of soccer, as a result of these boys shall be preventing for his or her careers, whether or not it’s with Crewe subsequent season or looking for a brand new deal, or attempting to remain in League One or get strikes greater up the pyramid. Now we have bought to maintain that in thoughts.
“If we put within the performances that we’ve proven within the current three video games, then I’ve little doubt that we will go there and win the sport.
“However we’re the place we’re, so we’re not going to simply roll up and win the sport.
“Now we have to guarantee that, to a participant, we’re on the prime of our sport to get the three factors.”
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