Downes delighted with ‘well-earned point’ at in-form Oxford
AFC Wimbledon boss Wally Downes was delighted his team got what he felt they deserved from a dogged and resolute performance against in-form Oxford.
The point from the 0-0 drawat the Kassam Stadium is a valuable one in the Dons’ fight to avoid relegation from League One, although they remain in the bottom four.
Visiting goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made two fine saves, one from Luke Garbutt in the first half, and then with his feet from Oxford substitute Jamie Mackie 19 minutes from the end as the match finished goalless.
Downes was especially pleased to get something from the game because Oxford had won their previous four matches.
He said: ‘They’re an in-form team.
‘We had to tough it out today and got a well-earned point.
‘We know we can play a lot better than that but we toughed out a 0-0 and that could be critical at the end of the season.
‘We were steely about what we did today.
Yes, Ramsdale was good but the whole team put in a performance for us.
‘He’s a goalkeeper who’s meant to keep the ball out of the net and when he was called upon he did that, but all the others played their part too.
‘Clean sheets are the most precious things in the game.
They’re what you start out with and you need to hang on to them.
‘ The Dons were backed by a large travelling support with more than 1,300 cheering them on in the away section.
Downes said: ‘It was fantastic support.
We’ve re-engaged with them, I feel, and they’ve re-engaged with us.
‘Easter is going to be an important time for us, and for everyone.
If you can get six points out of six over that period it can take you a long way.
‘We’ve just got to keep playing as we did today and keep on battling.
The resolve we had and the fight was what typifies this club.
They willed the point out of the game and fought with everything they had to get it.
‘ Oxford manager Karl Robinson was left frustrated that his side were unable to capitalise on several good opportunities – all of them falling to different players.
Robinson said: ‘We were good from start to finish.
‘Whether you put it down to great goalkeeping, or poor finishing, or poor officiating, because we should have had two penalties, I don’t know.
‘I’ve got to give AFC a lot of credit for what they’ve done the last few weeks.
‘And I’ve not seen too many teams do that to them, as we did today, because they are strong and resolute.
‘It was a good performance from us, and it wasn’t that one person missed all the chances – we had a lot of different players missing chances.
‘So we got a point.
But it’s frustrating because we should have got another two.’