BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Wally Downes is determined to keep the belief flowing through his young AFC Wimbledon side as they still wait for a first League One win of the season.
The Dons lost 2-1 at Milton Keynes on Saturday.
Downes engineered the South London club climbing out of the drop zone last season – securing safety on the final day.
But they are once again in the bottom four of the table.
Downes said: “We’ve been competitive in every game, apart from the last 15 minutes at Sunderland when they scored and it went 3-1.
“The key thing is getting the win. It’s my job to keep them believing in what they are doing – making sure they have confidence in the way they play.
“If they keep believing then coming out the other side will make us stronger. It’s a young team. Last year we had to build a team to stay up. This season the different finances – we’ve had to build a young team. When you build a young team you’ve got to make sure you’re on them all the time.
“Mistakes will come but they have got to be learnt from.
“If we’re learning as we go then I’m confident that when that first win comes the confidence comes – that’s the big thing.
“There was an overspend last season which had to be readdressed. It’s my job to manage that budget. The board and the foundation are keen to keep the club within its limits. Me, having been here and come back to the club, I’m not the sort of fella to argue with the board and say: ‘I want this and that’.
“It’s important we stay who we are and operate within the limits we have got.”
Downes did not feel the performance at MK was a fair representation of his side this campaign.
“No, we’re normally snappier around teams,” he said. “We were off them a couple of yards [for the goals] and there was no physical presence – and that’s what we’ve had [normally].
“Last week was a brawl of a game against Wycombe and we weren’t found wanting. Today a couple of times we need to be physical, we weren’t and got punished for both.”