AFC Wimbledon will on Saturday set out to ensure that Roots Hall remains a happy hunting ground and Glyn Hodges is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
Last season, The Dons went to Southend United and earned a third successive league victory – the wins all coming in the space of eight days – to reignite a push for League One survival that was achieved on the final day.
With Wimbledon having won twice already this week, making it three at Southend once again will be very much appreciated by all in blue and yellow. Glyn is expecting a tough match on Saturday against another side battling near the foot of League One, but he says that the squad will go there in a positive frame of mind.
Below are quotes from both camps, plus stats, and a look back at previous matches.
“My mind was set on what team I wanted to put out during the week. I wanted to go fairly strong, I didn’t want to rest too many. I thought it was vital that we got the job done and the lads running out 3-0 winners was more than we could have asked for. It was a positive, so we are looking forward. We’ve identified the week and every game is winnable anyway. Off the back of two wins, I’m looking forward to taking the team there and seeing what we can get.”
“We know what we’ve got to do, we’ve spoken about it. This is going to be a tough match, but also you’ve got to try and put your personality on the game. We’ve got some players who can get on the ball and play. We can’t be waiting for mistakes from the other team, we have to go and force the issue, so we will be set-up to do that.
“Every game is winnable anyway and on the back of two wins I’m looking forward to taking the team there and seeing what we can get. At Peterborough, the away fans were great and this is probably one of the local ones that they can get to a bit easier. They are great and we’ve just got to give them something to shout about. If we can put in a performance, I’m sure they will enjoy the afternoon and let’s hope we prevail.”
Take a look at Glyn’s full interview below.
"They’ve had an upturn in terms of results but it’s more about how we approach the game and go into the game. The players have trained hard and well this week, there was a game on Tuesday for some of the lads that needed the minutes so all in all it’s been a decent week.
"It’s an important game. There’s three points at stake against a club that are close to us so it’s an important fixture. The players need to show character, attitude, desire, determination, all those words need to be shown on Saturday to get any type of result. We need to make sure we come to the game focussed and ready to go.”
The Dons will have Marcus Forss available for this fixture after the young striker decided to favour club duty, rather than go away and play for Finland Under-21s. Luke O’Neill (calf), Adam Roscrow (thigh), and Rod McDonald (knee) are all ruled out.
For Southend, Tom Hopper could return after making good progress from a cruciate ligament injury. The striker featured for Southend Under-23s in midweek and Waddock is considering including Hopper in his squad. Centre-back Liam Ridgewell (calf), midfielder Sam Mantom (hamstring), striker Charlie Kelman (ankle) and defender John White (broken arm) are definitely out. Long-term absentees Sam Barratt (knee) and Harry Kyprianou (Achilles) are also still sidelined while captain Mark Milligan is away on international duty with Australia and will also miss tomorrow’s game. Young striker Emile Acquah is suspended following his red card at Gillingham last weekend but left-back Nathan Ralph is available again after completing his one-match suspension.
Last time out (league)
Gillingham 3-1 Southend United
AFC Wimbledon 3-2 Rochdale AFC
Previous two meetings
Southend United 0-1 AFC Wimbledon (16 March 2019)
AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Southend United (24 November 2018)
The Dons won both matches versus Southend United last season. The first of those was achieved thanks to a winner from Mitch Pinnock with Simon Bassey as the club’s Interim Manager. More recently, Joe Pigott scored the only goal at Roots Hall, an opportunistic strike after a defensive lapse, and that was a vital win in the battle to stay up. It was a fourth victory for AFC Wimbledon at Roots Hall since the club was reformed. Take a look at the highlights from that game below.
Southend United – Stephen Humphrys (5)
AFC Wimbledon – Marcus Forss (4)
Form Guide (last six in all competitions, starting with most recent)
Southend United – LLLWLD
AFC Wimbledon – WWLLLD
Wimbledon supporters can pay on the day (cash only) at the ticket office at Roots Hall. See our previous article for ticket prices.
If you’re not attending the game, you can stay in touch with it by tuning into our iFollow service with Mikey T and Rob Cornell commentating on the match for WDON.