'We're in a relegation scrap' admits Bowditch after Walsall draw

Dean Bowditch
Dean Bowditch
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Goal-scorer Dean Bowditch acknowledged Dons can't keep looking up the table after they dropped into the League 1 relegation zone on Saturday.

Swindon's 3-0 win over Charlton in the day's early kick off dumped Dons into the bottom four, and even Bowditch's last minute equaliser couldn't get them back out as the search for a home league win continued.

While the players had been expecting play-offs all season, Bowditch admitted on Saturday that Dons have had to update their aims for the season.

"We are (in a relegation fight) at the moment, we are where we are for a reason because we haven't been good enough at times," he said. "But there have been times where we've been more than good enough for 60 minutes, 75 minutes, but little things and individual errors have cost us.

"We have to stick together as men, because we're good enough not to be where we are. We'll get ourselves out of it."

Bowditch started up front, but was moved out wide after an ineffective opening half hour, in which Scott Laird headed Walsall into the lead.

The 30-year-old had a decent header saved by keeper Neil Etheridge but had to wait until the final minute to get a definitive chance, bending in an equaliser to rescue a point for Dons.

Bowditch said Dons 'were all over the place' until half time, when a few home truths came out and they were able to regroup and force the issue considerably more in the second period.

He said: "In the first 15, 20 minutes we started really well, but as soon as they scored, we werre all over the place. It's a collective thing. The fans think 'oh no, not again' and it's difficult as players to get away from that.

"So for 10 minutes, we were all over the shop, but we got ourselves together in the second half and I thought we were outstanding.

"Walsall had a few chances which they could have scored from, but we had to take that risk because of where we are. It was much better second half, and we got what we deserved, but we could have got another two points at the end there."

By his own admission too, Bowditch, who is now Dons' leading scorer with seven goals this season, said he faded in and out of the game but felt his persistence paid off with the equaliser.

"I think when I played as a number nine, I felt disconnected," he added. "I was just running into channels for the sake of it, or running in behind when everyone else way trying to play to feet. It just wasn't working so we changed it and I went out to the right.

"In the first half, I didn't see much of the ball, and in the second I thought as the game went on, I got on the ball a bit more.

"You just have to keep putting yourself into goal-scoring positions and I won't ever stop that. Even if I haven't touched the ball for 90 minutes, that chance comes along like it did to stick it away in the last minute."