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Dagenham preview

21 February 2013

Team news and the views of Neal Ardley

Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley will have to make changes for Saturday’s Dagenham & Redbridge match due to illness and injuries.

A few players were unable to take part in training today after reporting that they were ill and Wimbledon will definitely be without Peter Sweeney, who has a suspected broken foot. Jim Fenlon is also an injury doubt for the trip to Victoria Road. Curtis Osano has an outside chance of making the frame after returning to light training, but Will Antwi (hip) is not yet ready to return.

Neal Ardley will assess his options tomorrow before selecting his squad for Dagenham & Redbridge when the Dons aim to build on Tuesday's impressive display against Northampton (the picture above shows Alan Bennett scoring against the Cobblers).

“Players have come in today and are not feeling well,” said the Wimbledon manager. “We are trying to manage the situation as well as we can because there are games to prepare for.

“We have developed a decent squad to cope. Players who were playing every week earlier in the season have found themselves in and around the 18 and on some occasions not in the 18. That competition for places is what we wanted when we I came here and the players now know that they have to work hard. The atmosphere is good and even players not in the 18 at the moment are supportive as they know they are going to play a part with so many games coming up.”

Though the Daggers have fallen down the League 2 table after a particularly bright start to the season, they did beat Cheltenham recently and Neal Ardley is expecting a tough battle on Saturday.

“They are a very good side,” Neal said. “John Still has his teams very well organised and they gave Gillingham a really tough game last week. Gillingham were hanging on in the end and we know it is not going to be an easy task. We need to be physically and mentally strong. We will prepare for it right and if we can put in a performance similar to Tuesday then I know that we won’t go far wrong.”

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