We need to wise up about 'knocking people over' says Wimbledon boss Hodges after 4-2 loss to Pirates
Glyn Hodges has hinted that his players need to replicate some of the ruthless defending of the Wimbledon of old if they are to avoid pastings like the one dished out by Bristol Rovers.
At times, the Dons looked a mess at the back and might easily have let in more than the four they shipped in a 4-2 reverse at the new Plough Lane stadium.
Rovers striker Brandon Hanlan scored twice and bullied the Wombles rearguard. Hodges says they need to wise up and be less naïve if they are to improve.
“The way we defended against Peterborough in midweek was heroic. Some of the blocks, some of the headers, everything we did,” said the Dons’ boss.
“But today it wasn’t there. We just look at it and scratch our head a little bit.
“For three of the goals, we had three or four attempts to win back the ball and we didn’t quite get our foot in or weren’t quite strong enough in the challenge.
“We are a young side and sometimes an old head will just knock people over and give a free-kick away and maybe stop the game.
“We are honest and they give everything. You can’t complain but we had opportunities to stop it and we didn’t. We’ll learn from that.”
Although disappointed in his side’s loss, Hodges accepted the right team won and paid credit to Paul Tisdale’s team, who belied their lowly status by confidently monopolising the ball and created chances galore.
“Credit to them. They’ve got some good players and played well today,” the Wimbledon manager said.
“I thought they were at the top of their game.
“I thought they seemed livelier than us. They seemed a bit brighter and a bit sharper than we were today, even though we got off to a great start.
“We didn’t have the energy levels but equally we didn’t help ourselves with what we did when we did get the ball.
“I think we had 11 shots in the second half, so we caused them a few problems, but we couldn’t get the goals we needed."
Hodges added: “It was a tough day at the office but doesn’t mean we’re a bad team overnight. It’s one that’s tough to take and leaves a horrible taste in your mouth, but we are in a good position and just disappointed not to win back-to-back. The boys give you everything and have come through a hard spell of games.”