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Gaffer Disappointed Not To Win But Praised Character Of His Players

23 November 2016

Manager Stephen Robinson felt his side deserved all three points from yesterday’s game against Port Vale but praised the character of his players.

Athletic dominated the game from start to finish and deservedly took the lead on 48 minutes through Ollie Banks’ deflected free kick.

However, two lapses in concentration allowed Port Vale to take the lead but in the final minute of additional time, Carl Winchester popped up with the leveller.

Robinson said: "I’m actually disappointed that we didn’t come away with the result. We scored two goals away from home and concede from a set play so it was sloppy. 

"The lads showed great character again, though. We had 17 shots on goal, and I thought we totally dominated for 75/80 minutes of the game and have done in the last four or five games that we have played. 

“We thought here we go again but the lads dug in and showed great character and it was a good finish at the end. 

“Lee Erwin hit the bar as well but we are disappointed we didn’t take all three points but the lads showed great character to come back." 

Banks’ free kick marked his first league goal for Athletic this season and the gaffer praised the midfielder.

“I thought Ollie was terrific all night and he’s probably been the best player on the pitch in the last three games for us,” Robinson admitted. 

“He has really got a handle on how we want him to play and dominate the midfield areas as well as a defensive side in the middle of the pitch. 

“I thought he thoroughly deserved his goal and let’s be honest, that’s our first little bit of luck all season so we are due one. 

“He hit the target, he got a slice of luck but I thought he thoroughly deserved his goal."

Winchester did grab the goal to equalise for Athletic last night and the gaffer admitted he had a dilemma before the game.

“It was a tough decision tonight with Greeny suspended between Carl Winchester and Ousmane Fane,” he said.  

“We had a lot of attacking players on the big pitch but we needed a bit of security with Ousmane, he did his job, but he can be a bit clumsy at times so we felt we needed to make the change. 

“Carl was one of three positive changes and it was a great finish from him. 

“I don’t know what I would have done if we would have lost that game but we go home a little bit happier than what we would have done.”

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD. 

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