Toby Sibbick reckons AFC Wimbledon are being made to pay the price for lapses in concentration at key moments when they play higher calibre opponents like Sunderland and Millwall.
The League One strugglers are back in action at Rochdale tonight.
Discussing Millwall’s winning goal in Saturday’s fifth-round FA Cup defeat, Sibbick, 19, said: “In the third or fourth phase, I think it was, they took their chance and we just switched off.
“We’ve got to get our heads up and go on Tuesday, because there’s still things to fight for in the league and that’s what we’re looking to do.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that in the league things have tailed off. I’d say when we went up to Sunderland we matched them but yet again there was a lapse of concentration which cost us the game. That’s where games are won and lost against the bigger teams in League One.
“I’ve got full faith in the lads in the dressing room that we’re going to get out of this.”
Asked his prediction about Tuesday’s relegation six-pointer away to a Rochdale side hovering one point above the bottom four, the teenager said: “We just focus on us, because if we start thinking about other teams then we’re going to get more wound up in our situation.”
Sibbick, deployed as a right wing-back in manager Wally Downes’ new 3-5-2 formation, said the manager and assistant Glyn Hodges’ faith in promoting the club’s youth team players could pay dividends in the final 14 matches of the season.
Sibbick said: “I think someone tweeted that the average age [against Walsall recently] was 23. But you can see he [Downes] likes the youth team because we have a lot of energy, we run about, we like getting on the ball; I think that’s what he wants in his teams – high energy teams.
“Hopefully we have the confidence from Tuesday to put in a performance [at Rochdale]. Once we get a run of results going, why can’t we [stay up]? I think on our day we can beat anyone, we just need to get our heads on it.”
IMAGE BY BRIAN TONKS