Dons were afraid to shoot says Robbo

Rob Hall has a rare shot
Rob Hall has a rare shot

Karl Robinson has urged his attackers to shoot after his side failed to hit the target in the 2-0 defeat at home to Birmingham City.

Clinical second half finishing from former Dons midfielder Stephen Gleeson and Jacques Maghoma were the difference between the two sides on Saturday.

Diego Poyet battles in midfield

Diego Poyet battles in midfield

But it was his side’s reluctance to pull the trigger with regularity which frustrated the Dons boss the most.

“I felt we dominated the first half but we didn’t have a shot on target. Our finishing was poor. The once chance they had in the second half, Stephen, who is a wonderful technician, puts it in the perfect position.,

“But they didn’t shoot! We can’t have a tap in every time. Make the keeper make saves, and we’re not doing that enough. We’re reluctant to shoot.

“Stephen’s goal - none of our players would have tried that. But why not? If it goes over, it goes over. If the keeper makes a save, so be it. The players know that.”

Samir Carruthers

Samir Carruthers

Following Gleeson’s opener on 53 minutes, Robinson admitted his side ‘lost their heads’ as they found themselves behind.

And it allowed Birmingham to get a strangle hold on the game - one which they didn’t relinquish.

The manager said his substitutions - bringing on Carl Baker and Josh Murphy - came at the wrong time .

He said: “We lost our heads for 10 or 15 minutes in my opinion and that’s where the game was lost. It was a wonder goal, but it was their reaction to the goal which lost us the game.

“And I made the wrong substitutions. I needed something to change it, but my eagerness to change what we were doing stunted our momentum. It wasn’t the subs’ fault, but the timing.

“But we also huffed and puffed.

“We got into better positions today, but we didn’t shoot. I can’t take responsibility for them not shooting. The work ethic was fine.”

A late refereeing change saw selected referee Gavin Ward replaced in the centre by one of his assistants. And Robinson felt he made a key mistake in not sending off Demarai Gray after shoving Kyle McFadzean in the chest in the second half.

“The referee was poor,” added the Dons boss. “What Demarai Gray did was violent conduct. I’ve had players sent off for that. The kid is a talent, but the referee needed to be braver with the decision.

“The PGMOL will certainly get a call. I want to ask questions. Parts of the game weren’t controlled.

“I tell my players not to swear, or surround the referee, dive or use their hands. And when they don’t, they get, I believe, nothing.”