Simon Bassey updated us with the latest news from the training ground this afternoon as the Dons prepared for Saturday’s match against Accrington Stanley.
Our caretaker manager confirmed that Stacy Long will miss the visit of high-flying Accrington with a foot injury, though the injury is not as bad as first feared judging by the results of an X-ray on Monday. Centre-back Pim Balkestein (groin) will be assessed by club physio Mike Rayner tomorrow as regards his availability after he participated in half of today’s training session, while Mat Mitchel-King (back) is still out. However, there was good news about right-back Curtis Osano, who took part in full training for the first time today after shaking off an ankle injury. The summer signing from Luton is ahead of schedule in his recovery, though Simon expects that it will be two weeks before Curtis is in the frame for the first-team.
Speaking to Dons Player, Simon said: “Curtis joined in with the group for training and he has had no reaction to the injury so that is positive for us. But if his ankle is fine, he will still need maybe another couple of weeks to get himself ready for the first-team. Stacy had an X-ray on his foot and there was no fracture, but there was a lot of swelling. We will wait until it settles down and then check it again next week. Next Saturday will probably be his earliest opportunity to be back. It is a blow, but we have Christian Jolley back from suspension so we have lost one player and gained another.”
Simon admitted he will not be looking to change much on Saturday after the 1-0 win at Wycombe Wanderers and the Dons will be looking to build on a first League 2 away win since beating Gillingham 4-3 on 21 January.
However, they will be up against an Accrington side with a fine away record this season, which has marched them up to sixth in the table under the astute guidance of Paul Cook.
“Accrington have started really well,” Simon added. “Paul Cook is a good manager with plenty of enthusiasm and he has his team working hard and playing good football. I have watched a couple of DVDs of them and their formation is suited to playing away from home so it will be a tough test for us. But it is one that we are looking forward to. I do not think that the boys who played on Saturday at Wycombe deserve anything other than 100 per cent faith from me. They are keen to continue that, but no manager will complain about having selection headaches.”
The full video interview with Simon can be viewed on Dons Player and we will also feature an interview tomorrow with Christian Jolley, who will return from suspension on Saturday.