Smith passes debut test

Wed 24 Feb 2016
Author: Chris Slavin

Midfielder comes through difficult start

Connor Smith put a frustrating start to his AFC Wimbledon career behind him by helping the Dons to victory on his debut – and he believes there’s more to come.

The 23-year-old joined Wimbledon on 22 January lacking match sharpness and a bout of concussion after being hit with a ball in training did his chances no favours.

However, Smith was straight into the thick of the action last night – and he enjoyed getting stuck in against a tough League 2 side.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Connor, who had a loan spell with Stevenage previously, said: “In this league it is always going to be physical. Players are going to be aggressive with you and you have to give it back as well. I am well able to do that as I enjoy a hard tackle. I had to put myself about.

“It has been a while coming to get my debut, but I was pleased to get out there, especially starting. It was not the prettiest of games, but the three points were all that mattered as we wanted to get into the play-off zone. On my first game I always look to win and it was a good night. The fans are buzzing with the run we are on and it was a great atmosphere. Hopefully, we can have that again on Saturday.”

Smith added he’d been working very hard in training to convince Neal Ardley to start him after being forced to miss seven days due to concussion.

“That came at an unfortunate time,” said Connor. “It was just a bit of a knock-back, but I came back after a week off with it and trained hard. I got on the bench at Barnet on Saturday and then pushed for a start against Carlisle.

“When I came in I had not had many games under my belt and I’ve just been building up my fitness. I’ve been trying to put everything I’ve got into every training session, that’s what the manager looks for as well. It has been good intensive sessions and it has got me up to the right levels. Hopefully, I can keep going with that.

“When you are playing Saturday, Tuesday, every week it is just literally games, getting your recovery and preparing for the next one.  The games are coming thick and fast, but these are the periods that will make or break our season.”

The full interview with Connor Smith is now on Dons Player, along with an interview with Paul Robinson, and extended highlights from last night’s win against Carlisle.

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