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‘Step up to the plate’ – Dons boss reveals his player hope ahead of Cheltenham test – South London News

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AFC Wimbledon head coach Mark Robinson says that he is looking for “one or two” players to step up to the plate heading into the final nine games of the League One season.

The Dons are without a win in their previous 19 games in all competitions and are above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Robinson recalled 19-year-old forward Zach Robinson on loan from National League South side Hampton & Richmond Borough and handed him his debut after Birmingham loanee Sam Cosgrove was ruled out through injury.

Cosgrove, who replaced Ollie Palmer after he was sold to Wrexham for £300,00 in the January transfer window, has yet to score since joining on loan.

Wimbledon travel to Cheltenham on Saturday and are looking to secure their first win in the league since December 7 when they beat Accrington Stanley 2-0 away from home.

AFC Wimbledon v Lincoln City SkyBet League One, Cherry Red Records Stadium, 12 March 2022

“Our performances are strong in a lot of areas, but it’s about one or two people stepping up to the plate,” said Robinson looking ahead to the trip to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

“Someone told me a stat the other day. In the 18 games that Ollie Palmer played, we had 75 per cent positive results – 44 per cent draws and 32 per cent wins. That [form] would put you around the play-offs over the course of the season.

“As a collective, we’re still strong. Watching the game back from Saturday, you can see that we’re not a bad side at all, but we need one or two players to step up and have a similar impact that Ollie had on us when he played.

“Dapo [Mebude’s] performance was really positive, so if we can get a few players performing similar to that, then we can bridge that gap.”

When asked if he was looking for a figurehead for the side, Robinson said: “You just keep putting that challenge to the players.

“If Zach takes his two chances, he could have very easily been that person on Saturday.

“You keep challenging them in training and look for the one or two. It’s always the top end of the pitch – it’s quite clear.

“Every team in the league, their top goalscorer is their forward – our top goalscorer is Rudi [Jack Rudoni] with eight.

“We have got to bridge that gap at the end of the pitch now – it doesn’t matter who it comes from or if it comes from two or three people.

“The reality is, if those teams around us lost that player, they would be in a lot deeper issues than we are.”

PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD

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