Johnnie Jackson is relishing tonight’s trip to the Broadfield Stadium, as we look to maintain our impressive League Two away form in West Sussex.
We head to Crawley Town having only lost twice on our travels this season - and our manager is excited at the prospect of a sizeable Dons contingent making the journey for this festive meeting.
“It’s got all the ingredients of a cracker,” said Johnnie after Thursday’s final training session. “It’s fairly local and it should be a good game against a side close to us in the league.”
You can listen to everything Johnnie had to say below.
”I’m really looking forward to this one, with it being on a Friday night under the lights,” added Johnnie. “I remember taking a big crowd down there previously, so it should be really exciting. We want to keep progressing and keep doing what we’ve been doing.
“I feel like we’re in a really good place. Our away form has been good, and we’re starting to back that up with some strong performances at home.”
Ali Al-Hamadi has recovered from a knock to his shin late on against Portsmouth and Johnnie yet again has a big squad to choose from. It could mark the return of James Tilley to Crawley. Following his summer move to us, the attacking midfielder has already reached double figures this campaign.
“He’ll probably have a little bit of extra fire in his belly because he did so well for Crawley,” said Johnnie. “That’s where he caught my eye and why we made the decision to try and bring him to the Club. He’ll go back to his old club with a point to prove, I’m sure.
“He’s probably been a bit unlucky of late and frustrated. He came out of the team at a time where I felt we’d asked a lot of him. He’d played a lot of minutes and a lot of games – probably more than he’d ever done in his career, to be honest. I just felt the time was right for him to have a little rest.
“Josh Neufville has come in and a couple of others too, but that’s just the way it is with this squad! ‘Tills’ is a top player and he showed that on Tuesday night at Portsmouth – I thought he was outstanding down at Fratton Park and really played his role in a top performance.
“I know that I can take one out and put ‘Tills’ in and he’d be ready to step up, especially against his old club as well.”
Johnnie is appreciative of the efforts of his Crawley counterpart Scott Lindsey, who took over the role after leaving Swindon Town in January.
“I think they’ve done really well this season,” said Johnnie. “They’ve played some really good football and they’re a difficult team to play against and to prepare for, with the way they pose problems for the opposition – in terms of their formation, passing and movement.
“It’s something we have to be well drilled for, but something that we’ve seen in recent weeks from the likes of Notts County and Swindon – playing in a similar vein. It won’t be completely unique to us, but they have a different way of going about things, for sure. They’ve had a lot of success with it, so we have to be bang up for it.”
Photos: Pro Sports Images.
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