Kinnear refuses to be embarrassed

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The Independent Online
Wimbledon 1 Nottingham Forest 0

The Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear was offering no apologies for his team's fortunate victory.

Robbie Earle poached the only goal of the game, but the result was hard on the Premiership's bottom team. Forest had outplayed the Dons for much of the match, but Dean Saunders and Kevin Campbell missed two good chances apiece, and so the visitors were unable to end an unbeaten run that now extends to 17 matches.

Kinnear, though, was not worried. "We are now three points behind the leaders Arsenal and one behind Newcastle. Embarrassing, isn't it? Forest had the lion's share of the game but I didn't think they created too much. My players are sitting down there in the dressing room groaning that they didn't play as well as they can.

"But I've told them not to go away disappointed. We've got the three points and I make make no apologies for that. You can't play well and score four or five goals every time, but that is what people are expecting of us now."

Kinnear's opposite number, Frank Clark, refused to use the continuing uncertainty surrounding a possible Forest takeover as an excuse. "The longer that situation goes on the more it could affect us, but the players and I don't know enough about what is happening for it to be a factor just yet," he said. However the situation is preventing Clark from bringing in reinforcements.

"Not a penny until the future of the club is made clear," Clark said of the amount of money he could pay out on transfers. "Every time I come to London I read we've bid pounds 4m for Wimbledon's Dean Holdsworth and the chairman has a heart attack.

"But there is nothing in that story. It is just up to the players here to keep working hard, and improve the situation for us."

Goal: Earle (37) 1-0.

Wimbledon: Sullivan; Cunningham, Perry, Blackwell, Kimble, Ardley, Jones, Leonhardsen (Harford, 84), Earle, Ekoku (Clarke, 72), Gayle (Holdsworth 72). Substitutes not used: Murphy (gk), Fear.

Nottingham Forest: Crossley; Lyttle (Lee, 72), Chettle, Blatherwick, Pearce, Haland, Cooper, Phillips, Allen, Saunders, Campbell. Substiutes not used: Fettis (gk), Jerkan, Roy, Walker.

Bookings: Wimbledon: Jones, Cunningham. Forest: Blatherwick.

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham).

Man of the match: Gayle.

Attendance: 12,608.