‘Really painful’ – Mark Robinson opens up on AFC Wimbledon dismissal

Chelsea U21 coach Mark Robinson has admitted that his dismissal from AFC Wimbledon still affects him.

Robinson initially took charge of Wimbledon on an interim basis in January 2021 when Glyn Hodges left. He was handed the job permanently in February and guided the team to League One survival.

The former Dons head coach was relieved of his duties in March of last season with just seven games left to go of the League One campaign.

Wimbledon had suffered a 21-game winless run under Robinson after the club sold top goalscorer Ollie Palmer to Wrexham and failed to replace him. 

The Dons brought in Mark Bowen but failed to pick up a win in the remaining seven games and suffered their first relegation as a phoenix club.

Robinson made Jack Rudoni a permanent member of the first team and handed Ayoub Assal his club debut. 

When Assal’s deal to Qatar Stars League side Al-Wakrah is confirmed, the duo will have accrued more than £2million in transfer fees, with Rudoni joining Huddersfield Town in the summer for a reported £800,000.

Robinson has his Chelsea U21 side at the top of the Premier League 2 table after their 4-2 win over Fulham on the weekend.

“It still affects me now,” Robinson told the Athletic of his Wimbledon departure.

“Even though things are going well at Chelsea, I still have moments where I revisit. 

“It’s the first time I have ever lost a job. It is the hardest thing I’ve had to cope with in my career and, apart from losing my parents, my life too.

“It’s not something that goes away just like that. Obviously, I fell in love with AFC Wimbledon over 18 years – it’s a great club with fantastic people there. 

“It was more than just a job for me – it was personal. So when it went wrong, it was really painful.”

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