Robbo vows to fight on
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 11 January 2017
ATHLETIC'S under-fire manager Stephen Robinson stressed his desire to keep on fighting after yet another blank at Mansfield.
With chairman Simon Corney in attendance, the visitors to Field Mill failed to make the most of scoring chances and after a poor second-half showing, collapsed to a 2-0 Checkatrade Trophy defeat to make it five successive outings in which they have failed to hit the net.
Asked after the loss to League Two opponents if he wanted to carry on in the job, Robinson responded: "Of course.
"It is other people's decision whether that happens or not.
"I know what I want to do and what I'm trying to do in the transfer window once the embargo is lifted.
"We have things we want to do - but ultimately, that is not my decision."
Robinson played with a front two of Ryan McLaughlin and Darius Osei in a bid to break the scoring duck. Both had good scoring opportunities they didn't take, with McLaughlin also claiming a penalty kick late on after falling inside the box when Athletic were 1-0 down to the first of Pat Hoban's double.
"To be honest we haven't been scoring any goals and we played with two strikers. both with pace to get in behind," said Robinson, explaining the switch.
"Ryan had been very good in training all week and we haven't got strikers who are scoring goals, so you have to try something different rather than doing the same thing over and over again.
"He had chances and should have had a penalty by the looks of it. That's where we are - they went straight up the other end and scored.
"But it's not the referee's fault. Don't take chances and you won't win games.
"It was the same story again. We had five or six chances we didn't put away.
"Ryan McLaughlin was on-on-one, George Edmundson had a header, Peter Clarke had a header and Darius Osei had one cleared off the line.
"If you don't take your chances, you are going to lose games.
"Both goals were poor to concede and the second-half performance was very, very disappointing."
Lee Croft went off in the second half after suffering from a tight hamstring - he will be assessed today - and Robinson stressed the need for the registration embargo to be lifted to bring in fresh blood. That is now expected to happen in the next few days, possibly in time for the weekend.
"We have to pick ourselves up," the manager said. "We need to sign players. We need to get players in - it is crying out for that. We can all see it.
"We need players to score goals and until we do that, we are not going to win matches.
"After the second half performance a few will need to look in the mirror but ultimately, I will take the blame for it.
"People let themselves down and let me down as well with their quality.
"It was a scrappy game which we don't mind if you come out of it with a 1-0 win. But we lacked quality in the final third.
"They are a big, strong team and if you don't defend set plays or defend the back post then they are going to score."
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