Robbo left ‘shell-shocked’ after Tranmere defeat

editorial image

Karl Robinson was astonished at the 3-2 defeat on the road at Tranmere Rovers.

Two errors gifted Ryan Lowe two goals for the home side, sandwiching goals from Daniel Powell and Jason Banton, before James Rowe tapped in a late winner for Rovers.

But for the large part, particularly in the second period, Dons dominated and looked the only side capable of winning.

“I’m shell-shocked,” said Robinson afterwards. “My players did not deserve to lose that game. Tranmere beat us, I’m not going to be disrespectful to them - they beat us and that’s the nature of the industry.

“But the players can’t do more than what they did. We missed chances, but there were two mistakes.

“We’ve scored two worldies and all of their goals were scrappy. I’m shell-shocked. People who were here can’t be critical.

“Our performances have been good enough, but everything we do is going against us. Our mistakes are getting punished every time. I’m lost for words.

“We were by far the better team in the second half, but we should have got more. I’m absolutely gutted.”

A key point in the game for Robinson though was a misinterpretation of the rules from referee Steve Rushton, who adjudged Banton to be offside after the ball was flicked on by a Tranmere defender.

Robinson said: “The officiating wasn’t good enough. I want them to check the rules, because he got the rules wrong. If he’s not interfering, and then it comes off a defender, he’s onside.

“Jason was in an offside position when the ball was played, but the next touch comes off a defender and he became active. The linesman put up the flag - that’s not the rule. He’s got the rules wrong.

“I should be able to be honest, and they can do what they want to me, but he’ll be refereeing a game next week.”

Jordan Spence made his debut in defence for Dons after joining on loan from West Ham on Thursday but after a promising start, gave away the penalty to get Tranmere level again.

Robinson said: “It was a penalty. He got caught on the wrong side, the same way he did for the free kick leading up to it. It’s a shame for Jordan because he had a wonderful debut.

“This is out of our hands. It’s silly mistakes. But we still put in a performance, but sometimes you don’t get what you deserve.”

Dons are now without a point on the road since August 31 and the 1-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. And it’s six defeats in the last eight games for Dons in all competitions.

But Robinson is pleased with how his side played at Prenton Park, and believes things will turn in their favour.

“You’ve seen they’re motivated after the last performance,” he said. “That’s just incredible today. Football doesn’t cease to amaze me any more.

“We responded in the right way today. If we keep doing the right things, things will turn. There have been times when it has been going well and it has been easy to stick with us.

“But when it’s not great, we need to stick together more. I see it as a challenge, and I won’t walk away. I’ll deal with whatever gets thrown at me, but that’s difficult to take.”