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Dons fans’ favourite Lyle Taylor has his say on Mark Robinson departure – and questions recruitment since Simon Bassey’s exit

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Lyle Taylor has had his say on AFC Wimbledon parting company with Mark Robinson – and questioned the club’s recruitment process since Simon Bassey left.

The Dons announced earlier today that Robinson had left his position as head coach after 21 matches without a win.

The move comes a matter of days after a statement was made backing their former academy boss and also adding that they had failed to fully adequately support him in terms of building a squad.

Bassey left Wimbledon in the summer of 2019 after 17 years working with the club.

“The recruitment was done by Simon Bassey and I’m not too sure Simon Bassey ever got enough credit for what he managed to produce alongside Neal Ardley and Neil Cox,” former Dons striker Taylor told BBC London’s The London Sport Show. “If you lose someone who has been as influential and as important in bringing players in as Simon Bassey was then you don’t really have much in the way of a starting system to go and find players like myself, like Tom Elliott and like Jake Reeves; who were arguable capable of playing at a higher level but hadn’t got those chances for one reason or another.

“If I’m being completely honest, Bass played a major role in every single player that signed. Bass told me about the journey he’d made to watch me play and I suppose the questions he’d asked people that had liked me and who hadn’t liked me. There was a lot that went into simply scouting me as a player. Bass did that with tens of players through the leagues as Wimbledon rose. That’s just the players signed….how about the players that weren’t signed?

“If you take that cog out of the machine it’s a massive, massive cog to replace. In my opinion they never replaced Bass’ knowledge of football, his knowledge of coaching ability and his knowledge to be able to read people and interact with people.

“The first step would be to find a Simon Bassey and then it would be for that person to find a group of players who Neal Ardley, Neil Cox and Bayso moulded and turned into a unit. You get success by having a unit.”

Robinson had worked with one of the youngest squads in the country and was intent on bringing through talent.

“He did bring a new environment, a fresh way of thinking and a different way of playing that maybe Wimbledon hadn’t seen before,” said Taylor. “I certainly didn’t see football in the way he saw it when I was there. But it doesn’t seem to have worked long term.

“I always said from my time at the club that I thought it needed outside investment for it to be able to grow, but we all understand the history of Wimbledon and why the fans would to reticent to let that happen.

“It’s a really difficult situation. Where does the club go from here? I can only hope the club survive in the league this year and there can be some sort of major rebuild done in the summer to keep the club where they are and to potentially push them forward.”

The full interview with Taylor can be heard here  www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_london

 

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