Robinson angry with Smith treatment

PA Sport
Karl Robinson feels Alan Smith, pictured, needs more protection from referees

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Karl Robinson feels Alan Smith, pictured, needs more protection from referees

MK Dons boss Karl Robinson hailed substitute Alan Smith for inspiring their comeback in the 2-2 draw against Portsmouth - then blasted the officials for failing to protect him.

Early goals from Izale McLeod and Gabor Gyepes had put Pompey 2-0 up but Adam Webster's own-goal and Darren Potter's 72nd-minute equaliser stretched the Dons' unbeaten run to six games.

Robinson threw on Smith after just 33 minutes and reverted to an unorthodox 3-2-3-2 formation which sparked the Dons' fightback. But afterwards he hit out at the officials for failing to protect Smith in the face of fierce provocation.

Robinson said: "We started the game horrifically.

"We had a decision to make, I was wondering whether it was too soon but I had to make a decision for the benefit of the football club.

"Bringing Smithy on I thought changed the game. I didn't change it, he as a person changed it. I thought Alan Smith should have had a penalty - he doesn't get anything, he is dealt with very harshly and wrongly.

"He has been fouled, punched, spat at and kicked at - it's assault some of the things that happen to him because people know they are going to get a reaction. I got told by an official 'yeah but he's a player that once was in the Premier League who is trying to prove a point'.

"How can you accept that? I think he's dealt with very differently to the rest and that's what's wrong."

Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton said: "We played some really good stuff, we did have a game plan that worked really well for half an hour. They changed it and got back into it, albeit by a silly set-play that we've given them an own-goal.

"But then it was a good game and you always knew that we were going to be under pressure in the second half because they needed a goal and needed to push players forward. I just felt we had a goal in us second half, that's what I said to them at half-time, and we had a couple of good opportunities but it wasn't to be."

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