AFC Wimbledon’s win over Milton Keynes was for the fans, according to former Millwall and Portsmouth defender Paul Robinson.
The centre-back was a rock at the back for the Dons on Tuesday night as they kept a clean-sheet in the 2-0 win over their Buckinghamshire foes at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
And Robinson explained the Wimbledon players were all too aware of how important the game was to their supporters, and that while they were keen to use the night’s intense atmosphere to their advantage, they were careful to keep focused on the football rather than the occasion.
“It’s a big result for the club and everyone involved,” the 35-year-old said.
“It’s a big victory and something the whole ground responded to and everyone was celebrating at the end. It means a lot to a lot of people here after what they have been through and it was just pleasing to be able to give something back.
“We try to mention that it was important to bring the crowd into play. They want to see players running for the shirt and we were playing for them in a way in this game.
“This club wouldn’t be here and us players wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and what they have been through. We know that and we know how much it meant and it was important we did recognise that.
“Listen, we know the occasion but it was important that we focused on the football and got that right and then everything else takes care of itself.”
And Robinson praised the fans’ contribution, explaining the players could hear them being cheered on from the first whistle to the last.
“I think you still need to focus on your performance and concentrate on the important things that are going to get you the result in the football match but it’s hard not to feed off an atmosphere like that,” the London-born player said.
“It was important that we used the crowd, we brought them into play well. The endeavour, the effort and the work-rate from the lads got the whole place going and that created the atmosphere. They stayed with us for 95 minutes and everyone went home happy with something to cheer about.
“It was one of those nights that is completely different to any other league game in terms of that support. They cheer every header and every tackle. They are with you and backing you constantly for the full 95 minutes because they know what is at stake. It was pleasing to reward them for that.”