BURTON Albion took a hard-fought 1-0 win at AFC Wimbledon tonight, a game manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink always felt was going to be a difficult one.
Michael Bostwick’s 59th-minute strike proved the difference but, as with much of our current run, the platform came from a solid defensive display right through the 11 on the pitch.
Albion restricted the hosts to a few half-chances and took yet another clean sheet, recording a fifth league win in a row and a fifth consecutive away win, to boot.
And Hasselbaink was clearly pleased with his side’s defensive work after the game at Plough Lane.
“It was always going to be a very difficult game here,” said Hasselbaink post-match.
“They are fighting for their lives and we are fighting for our lives.
“It was not a very nice football match for the neutral, it was very tense, and difficult at times.
“I think if you look at the overall game, we’ve given nothing away.
“Ben (Garratt) had one shot on target and it was an easy one. They barely had crosses in our box.
“In the first half we looked dangerous on the break but didn’t utilise it as much as we should have. It was always going to be that little moment to decide who was going to score first, and luckily we did.”
“What I’ve said to the players is that we knew it was a different kind of test than Saturday (against Peterborough United).
“We needed to bring our mental strength to the game, and they have done that. What I was really pleased about was we didn’t really give anything away, and that gives you a platform to win a game.
“The back four was solid with Michael Mancienne in front of it, who was really good. I’m very happy. Don’t get me wrong, the result is the most important thing, but it was a solid performance."
It was another goal from a Tom Hamer long throw that won the day, and Hasselbaink was also pleased to see Bostwick alert to the opportunity after Mike Fondop took the throw-in down well in the box.
"We have a weapon with the long throw, and try to utilise it as much as we can, to work their defenders.
'We ask them to be sharp, and we were. Michael found a little bit of a gap and we know that when he puts his foot to it, it's lethal.