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Dawson assesses AFC Wimbledon clash

30 March 2019

Caretaker manager Andy Dawson spoke to iFollow Iron after the 2-1 home defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

Despite Lee Novak’s second half goal and a penalty save from Jak Alnwick, a brace from James Hanson inside the first-half secured the visiting team all three points.

Dawson was pleased with an improved second-half showing, but said his side need to be more resilient during the tricky spells in games and show their quality for longer periods. 

He said: “I’ve said to them at the end that the most disappointing thing is the goals we gave away. Throughout games of football there will be spells where you don’t play the way you want to play. But you come in at half-time 0-0 and rectify the problem, then produce what you did in the second half and win the game.

“The goals were really disappointing because, although they’re a threat going forward with long balls, one came from a free-kick and another from the goalkeeper. It’s an easy way to score and we all have to work hard to rectify those problems. 

“I was pleased with the second-half performance, but we still lost the game 2-1. The really disappointing thing is we couldn’t be more resilient and strong in those really difficult situations in the first-half.

“It’s always about the group, the team and squad. It’s never about an individual, we’ll win and lose together. The one thing we will do is learn individually and collectively – that’s all you can do in football. It’s never a blame culture at all because nobody means to make mistakes. When somebody does there should be someone there to help them. They’re things we’re going to talk about, we’re going to have to learn and quickly because the season is coming to a close and we still have a lot of work to do.”

There were four changes from the side beaten at Rochdale last weekend, with Byron Webster, Tom Pearce, George Thomas and Kevin van Veen coming in for Rory McArdle, Harrison McGahey, Jordan Hallam and Kyle Wootton.

Dawson said: “I thought Webby deserved his chance. He’s been a fantastic professional and done everything right. He’s never moaned and has got on with it. I thought he was ready to come into the team. 

“Pearcey and George both came back from international duty, and Tom had put in two man of the match performances while away with England so I thought he deserved his opportunity - the same as George who has done well on international duty.

“It was a difficult one because Jordy did really well last week, but it’s a great option to have because you’re leaving Jordy out and bringing an international in. Kev had been really good in training this week and I thought he fully deserved his chance. Kev came off (in the second-half) and felt his hamstring go a little bit tight. He’ll be seeing the physio but hopefully he’s not too bad. Fingers crossed, he’ll be okay.”

Next up for the Iron is a trip to Shrewsbury Town, where they will be looking to bounce back with a victory that would see them climb above their hosts in what is a congested bottom half of the League One table. 

“They’re all big games and I’m a firm believer that it doesn’t matter whether it’s the end of the season or the beginning, you want to win a game of football. I believe that if we perform for longer we will win games,” continued Dawson.

"When things aren’t going our way we have to be more resilient to get through the messy periods in matches, and then play our stuff to win the game. We know we can play good football too but we need to do it for longer. That’s what we’ll be working on."

See much more from Andy Dawson and Lee Novak on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign up.

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