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Johnnie Jackson says AFC Wimbledon must focus on themselves after latest scalp

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Feb 2024

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AFC Wimbledon manager Johnnie Jackson says his side are focusing only on themselves after claiming a “deserved” win over high-flying Barrow to remain firmly in the mix for the play-off places in League Two.

The Dons sent second-placed Mansfield home pointless two weeks ago and were also too strong for the Bluebirds, who arrived at Plough Lane third in the table, as first-half goals from Ronan Curtis and Omar Bugiel earned a 2-0 victory.

Only a late winner for Harrogate prevented Wimbledon from rising into the top seven while Barrow, who had Jamie Proctor sent off late on, dropped to fourth, one point behind Crewe.

Jackson said: “I think it was a deserved win, I thought we played really well.

“We have to concentrate on ourselves, obviously, but we just want to stay in and amongst it, which is what we’re doing.

“We’ve managed to find a bit of consistency with our form and our results, and I think if we concentrate on the performance levels then points will follow.

“Obviously, we’re still picking them up against good teams – we beat Mansfield here last time out and they’d only lost twice. Barrow, I think, had only lost five games all season.

“These are good results against good teams and we just want to find that consistency because before you know it we’re on the bus to Accrington on Monday and that ain’t one of the easier places to go.”

Wimbledon were ahead after 16 minutes when Paul Farman’s clearance ahead of Josh Kelly ran for Curtis, who controlled before thumping the ball past the stranded goalkeeper from 25 yards.

The lead was doubled 10 minutes later when Bugiel headed in Armani Little’s cross, with Dons goalkeeper Alex Bass making a good save to deny David Worrall early in the second half.

Farman prevented Kelly from opening his Wimbledon account after breaking through one-on-one before Proctor saw red for allegedly kicking out at Kofi Balmer.

Barrow boss Pete Wild said of the dismissal: “The fourth official is saying that as he hit the floor he kicked out.

“We’ve obviously just seen that, he clearly hasn’t kicked out, but we just need to be clear from the officials what they are saying that is for before we start analysing what we’ll do.

“I’m frustrated with how we started, you can’t start football matches like that and expect to win them, especially away from home.

“We talked about Wimbledon’s tenacity, how they’ve been playing lately and how they’ve been going about their business, and we didn’t stand up to that challenge.

“It’s easy to play when you’re 2-0 down and from 30 minutes onwards we’ve dominated the game, but for having all that domination, how many times have we made their keeper work?”

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