Micky's thoughts after the 2-2 draw away to AFC WimbledonMicky Mellon was pleased with the point gained in today’s opening encounter at AFC Wimbledon. The new Town chief expected a physical battle and that’s what his side got, watching an early lead cancelled out in the second half before James Collins scored for a second time to secure the draw.
“I’ve mixed emotions really,” said Micky. “I’m delighted that the lads fought back after falling behind with 10/15 minutes to go, but when you score twice away from home you’d usually expect to take a little bit more. This is a tough place to come. They’re direct and play to their strengths which is getting Tubbs in behind Akinfenwa and they’ll cause teams problems. I felt my two centre halves dealt very well with them and perhaps my only criticism of us is that when we won the ball back, we didn’t pass it well enough. It’s the first game of the season and we know we’ll get better but to come and get a point at Wimbledon you have to be fairly pleased.”
The manager paid special praise to two goal hero Collins who scored in each half to stamp his mark on the game: “We’re delighted to have him here because every time you get the ball into the box, James shows his hunger to get in there and get you a goal which is fantastic. I’m really pleased that he’s off and running. We had a couple of chances late on to win the game which made for an exciting finish. It was a slow pitch and the grass was quite long and I know we’ll be able to pass the ball better, but in the end I’m pleased with the point.”
Mellon cited poor marking from crossing positions as the main reasons behind the two Wombles goals, and thought defensively the side could have been more aggressive in both situations. He also explained the two early second half substitutions with Jean Luois Akpa Akpro being taken off with a groin problem and added that skipper Liam Lawrence hadn’t done much training so was replaced by James Wesolowski. “Liam might have a bit of a thigh problem but we wanted to put Weso on anyway as it was one of those games to suit that type of player (James was booked a minute after replacing Lawrence). We needed a bit of aggression and he’s come on and done that for us. We were good around the corner of their box and opened them up a few times, so we’ll have a look at that and get better at that. League Two is a very competitive league so we didn’t need a reminder of how tough it was going to be. If you needed a reminder then you were being naive. When you come up against the likes of Akinfenwa and they’re dropping balls into him, you have to be able to deal with things like that and we stood up to that. There’s no doubt in my mind who came out on top of that physical battle.”
The gaffer refused to be drawn into a conversation regarding Town’s latest target. A new signing might have happened yesterday but Micky said that the player in question (unnamed) had given his word that he’d put pen to paper on Monday.
Finally, Mellon was asked about Tuesday night’s League Cup opponents Blackpool and said he was really looking forward to it and expected a different game, with the ball likely to spend a lot more time on the deck. But before going into too much detail, he got sidetracked and waxed lyrical over the backing afforded to his side by 557 travelling Salopians: “I have to say that was fantastic out there,” he said. “We have to make sure we represent them properly because they never stopped right from the start, and they can be congratulated for playing their part in us getting back in the game. They were fantastic today and that’s as good a support as I’ve ever seen.”