Wally Downes wants Wimbledon to pick up where they left off and maintain the standards they set, with another three vital points up for grabs against Plymouth on Boxing Day.
Wimbledon go into the festive period off the back of Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Wycombe, which ended their impressive run of form at Adams Park. Now the Dons want to make the Cherry Red Records Stadium a fortress of our own – starting against Plymouth, who sit directly above us and are just two points better off in the table.
Victory on Wednesday would not only avenge a defeat at Home Park in October for the Dons, but would also give our new manager his first home victory and back-to-back wins in the league. Most significantly, it would lift Wimbledon off the bottom of the table.
Wally Downes –
“Those players have set a standard now. If they fall below that then they are letting themselves down. I’ve got faith in them as players who want to turn it around.
“Plymouth are travelling a long way and that will be an advantage to us, but also they aren’t going to want to travel all that time over Christmas and roll over. I’m expecting as equally as tough a game as we had against Wycombe. If it is, the boys showed me on Saturday they can withstand a team that is riding high.
“We’ll have to see who has recovered okay and who hasn’t. It’s always difficult, but my policy is to look around and see who is available, who is fresh and who is ready to go and start again. It’s a squad game now. It’s not eleven players or when I was playing, twelve. You’re looking at sixteen or seventeen players all the time and how you utilise your substitutes is critical. You don’t like to be outthought and I like to keep us ahead and be pro-active instead of reactive.
Kwesi Appiah –
“We’ve got something to build on now. That’s three points in the bag at Wycombe and we’ve got some important games, so if we can carry on in good form and get some more wins that will be good.
“This festive period is very important. If you can get yourself on a good run, there are games coming up quick so the points can tally up quite quickly and you can find yourselves moving up the league.”
Gary Sawyer –
“It’s a massive game, considering where both teams are,” said Plymouth’s captain.” It’s three points at the end of the line and we have got to go there and try to take them. I think every single game that we have got now is a big game. We have to approach it like that. We have got the second half of the season left to come to gather as many points as we can.
“Looking forward, you’d rather this be happening with the amount of games we have got left, rather than with five or six games left. We have got enough time to put this right and everyone in that dressing-room will be trying their best to do it.”
Wimbledon have Mitch Pinnock back in contention, having served a one-match suspension following his sending-off at The Valley against Charlton Athletic for receiving two yellow cards.
Plymouth will assess defender Scott Wootton and striker Freddie Ladapo in training on Christmas Day. Wootton has just returned from a three-month absence due to injury and Ladapo limped off in the defeat to Accrington at the weekend. Midfielder Jamie Ness is definitely ruled out.
Last time out
League One –
Plymouth Argyle 0, Accrington Stanley 3
Wycombe Wanderers 1, AFC Wimbledon 2
Last league meeting
Plymouth won 1-0 at Home Park, the last time the two sides met back in early October. Overall since we returned to the Football League the record between the two clubs is even, with the Dons and Plymouth having won six games apiece. We’ve also registered four draws with the Pilgrims.
Top scorers (in all competitions)
AFC Wimbledon - Joe Pigott (7)
Plymouth Argyle – Freddie Ladapo (12)
Our WDON team will be providing live coverage of the game from 3pm. This will be available by accessing our iFollow Dons channel.