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Plymouth preview

4 October 2012

Team news and an update from Simon on our loan players

Simon Bassey updated us on the latest team news from our training ground today as the Dons prepared for Saturday’s trip to Plymouth.

Our caretaker manager confirmed that we have extended loan deals for both George Francomb and Dale Bennett by a further month, though the latter will not feature at Plymouth as he is still struggling to shake off a back injury.

Speaking to Dons Player, Simon said: “We have extended loan deals for both of them. Although Dale is not fit for Saturday, Pim Balkestein could be out for another couple of weeks and Mat Mitchel-King went to hospital for an X-ray on his back today. That means for two or three weeks we have only Yado Mambo, Will Antwi and Dale as our only three centre-backs. We have taken George on loan for another month as he has been a real positive in the last few weeks for us.”

George and Dale, who both made their debuts in the 2-2 draw against Dagenham & Redbridge on 1 September, have impressed at Wimbledon so far and caretaker manager Simon Bassey has decided to extend their loan stays with several key defenders still out.

Norwich City right-back Francomb, aged 21, has featured in all seven games since joining the Dons and Watford centre-back Dale Bennett has also been a regular in the back four during his loan spell.

Curtis Haynes-Brown has returned to full training to add competition for Jim Fenlon with the on-loan Yeovil left-back having had his loan extended last week. Stacy Long is not quite ready to return on Saturday though as he has not yet shaken off a foot injury.

The Dons triumphed 2-0 at Home Park last season against Plymouth in what was only our third game back in the Football League. But Argyle are likely to provide a sterner test on Saturday as they have lost just once in the last six games.

Simon said: “It was a great journey for us there last year. We took a great following there and rewarded them with a 2-0 victory. We will go there in a positive frame of mind, despite our two last results. I have said to the boys that we have to take the positives out of Accrington and Oxford, but we have to work on the negatives. The players have taken on board what I have told them, we have worked on things in training, and hopefully we will reap the rewards on Saturday. I have been trying to get into the players that it is alright taking positives from games, but we need to start taking points. We need to be braver in both boxes. I think with the players we have got we will always score goals, but we need to keep things tighter at the back. We need to defend with a bigger heart and be braver than just dropping deeper into our box all the time.”

For the full video interview with Simon visit Dons Player and we will feature an interview with Dale Bennett tomorrow about extending his loan stay with the Dons.

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