Glyn Hodges has called on Wimbledon’s players to produce a positive reaction after Saturday’s disappointing display against Burton Albion.
Dons supporters will have special memories of Walsall after last season’s memorable 3-2 win at the venue, a victory that turned out to be vital in the battle to beat the drop. Joe Pigott (pictured in action versus Walsall) started the fightback on that occasion and another goal from him would be most welcome tonight!
Wimbledon will be seeking a first league win in 2019, but Walsall have also struggled to put points on the board recently after losing their last three. Below are quotes from both managers, plus team news, stats, and a recap of previous battles.
“First of all, it’s an opportunity to put that performance (on Saturday) to bed. Sometimes you have to wait a week and it’s hanging over you, but we’ve sat down with the players and we’ve watched the video from Saturday back. We’ve gone through bits and pieces and now it’s gone. Now it’s another challenge, another game, and it’s just about making sure everyone has recovered for Tuesday’s match.
“We have three games in a week, so it’s about who is robust enough to cope and how they recover. It’s just about recovery and preparing for the games. Hopefully, we will be talking about positive results after these games. We know that Walsall got beaten at the weekend, but the manager has quite a big pool of players to choose from. With the run that they’ve been on and being at home against a team bottom of the table, they will be going for the win.
“Our players owe the fans a performance, but they also owe it to themselves. People are scratching their heads after the FA Cup performances compared to the league performances, but it’s the same lads. They owe themselves a performance first and foremost and if they go about their business like we know they can, there will be no problems.”
“It’s the biggest game of the season. Your next game is always the biggest one but this is massive for us. It’s one win in 11 for us but they aren’t in great form either. They have done well in the FA Cup. We have to make sure we impose ourselves on them in the game.
“It’s going to be a difficult game. They are going to come and they are going to work hard. They will get in our face and we have to stand up to that. It might be scruffy but what it has to be is effective. What we have to do as a football club is go out, get some points and steady the ship.
“Wimbledon will be disappointed with their form in the league, but when you watch them in the FA Cup they have been outstanding. Whatever their position is, we have to go and make the game about us. That is no disrespect to them. We have to make the game about us and every player that goes out there on Tuesday night has to give everything. In the first two minutes we need an atmosphere that is positive and together. We need to steady the ship and we have to make sure we get a positive result.”
Terell Thomas has shaken off the groin injury suffered against Burton in time to make the squad, but tonight’s match will come too soon for James Hanson to return. Kwesi Appiah (hamstring) is doubtful. For Walsall, George Dobson is a doubt after limping off in the defeat against Blackpool. Kory Roberts (broken leg) and Adam Chambers (foot) are definitely still out.
Form guide (last six in all competitions, starting with most recent)
AFC Wimbledon LLWLDW
Previous two meetings
AFC Wimbledon 1-3 Walsall (21 August 2018)
The Dons suffered a home defeat in the corresponding fixture with Kwesi Appiah’s goal coming too late to make any difference to the outcome. Kieron Morris had earlier put Walsall 1-0 up, before a Will Nightingale own goal and a strike from Andy Cook put the visitors firmly in control.
Walsall 2-3 AFC Wimbledon (14 April 2018)
Wimbledon secured a dramatic victory that proved to be crucial in surviving relegation. First-half goals from Jack Fitzwater and Julien Ngoy put Walsall 2-0 up at the break, but The Dons bounced back superbly. Joe Pigott reduced the deficit after a Lyle Taylor penalty had been saved, before Taylor’s cracking volley restored parity. However, that was far from the end of the story with Dean Parrett striking a penalty home in the sixth minute of injury-time.
Click on the link below to watch the highlights from that match.
Last time out
Blackpool 2-0 Walsall
AFC Wimbledon 0-2 Burton Albion
Wimbledon supporters can pay on the night (cash only). Dons fans will be accommodated in the covered away stand, which is accessed via turnstiles 21–28.
Ticket prices are as follows:
Adults - £22.50
Over 60s - £17.50
Under-18s - £17.50
For more about visiting Walsall, refer to the host club’s page on their website all about the matchday experience.
Tonight's match is available to watch on a live stream via iFollow. You can get access by purchasing a match pass from our iFollow channel.