Paul Robinson thanks the Pompey well-wishers

Former Pompey player Paul Robinson in action against the Blues at the tail end of this season
Former Pompey player Paul Robinson in action against the Blues at the tail end of this season
Ashley Brown

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Paul Robinson has already received one congratulatory text from Paul Cook.

Now he’s seeking to get another – by leading AFC Wimbledon into League One.

When I got back into the changing room after the Accrington game the first text on my phone was from Paul Cook wishing us luck in the final

Paul Robinson

The central defender was shown the door by Pompey on the eve of the season – a decision which devastated him.

Kingsmeadow was his new home, joining former Fratton Park team-mate Andy Barcham – another allowed to leave by Cook.

The duo have subsequently been instrumental in the Wombles’ march to Wembley for today’s League Two final (3pm).

There they will face Plymouth – Pompey’s last-gasp conquerors in the play-off semi-finals.

Robinson has been touched by the number of goodwill messages from the Fratton faithful in the build-up to the game.

And the first to deliver his regards was none other than Cook.

The 34-year-old told The News: ‘The support I’ve had says a lot about the people of Portsmouth.

‘I had a fair few tweets from Pompey fans and it’s a real credit to them.

‘They were brilliant to me when I was there and it’s nice to see people still care after you’ve left.

‘When I got back into the changing room after the Accrington game the first text on my phone was from Paul Cook wishing us luck in the final.

‘That spoke volumes to me about the man really, fair play. It meant a heck of lot to me.

‘We’ve got Barch as well, it has been good for him to have a manager who has looked after him, put his arm around him and got the best out of him.

‘I watched both of Pompey’s semi-finals, I had a bit of interest in the games, obviously.

‘The first game really got the play-offs up and running, but I felt Pompey just ran out of steam in the second game. It was a shame.

‘I felt like Pompey might just nick one the way it was going – but it wasn’t to be.

‘In a way I wanted it to be Pompey in the final because if it isn’t going to be us I wanted it to be them.

‘It wasn’t to be, but it would have probably thrown up a lot of emotions anyway.’

Wimbledon’s position in the play-offs was clinched only on the final day of the season.

They finished three points behind Pompey – and promotion will be a remarkable achievement.

Robinson added: ‘We are going to win the game and get promoted. That’s the aim.

‘It’s a fantastic story. It’s another fan-owned club, like Pompey, but perhaps on a slightly smaller scale!

‘It’s a remarkable journey they’ve come on over a short space of time. We’re the underdogs and Plymouth are a big club, but that suits us.’