Fitness doubts for Wimbledon and Neal's views on Saturday's match
Neal Ardley will check on the fitness of three key players before naming his side to take on Capital One Cup finalists Bradford City this Saturday.
Jim Fenlon (pictured) is struggling with a back injury, while Alan Bennett (foot) and Paul McCallum (ankle) are all doubtful for the visit of Phil Parkinson’s men to the Cherry Red Records Stadium. Centre-back Will Antwi suffered a reaction to his troublesome hip injury after returning to training earlier this week and is definitely out and Curtis Osano is ruled out with a calf injury.
The Wimbledon manager will decide who makes the frame for Saturday after training tomorrow, but he can call upon Harry Pell for the first time since his debut against Burton Albion as the midfielder has now served his two-match suspension.
Neal Ardley said: “There are a few on the injury list. I will have a look at them tomorrow and then decide how we are going to go about the game.”
Speaking to Dons Player after today’s training session at New Malden, Neal says it has been a very positive week – and he wants the players to play with more freedom against Bradford City.
“It has been a good week,” he said. “Everyone is emotional after a game and we had a bit of a debate with the players after last Saturday’s performance. But I challenged myself afterwards too. Am I taking pressure off the lads and letting them play with the freedom to go and get results? Maybe not and now we have to change a few things and get more positivity into the camp.
“Win, lose or draw on Saturday that positive focus has to remain as there is still almost a third of the season to go. It is part of my football philosophy that players should play with no fear. Maybe that has crept in because of the pressure of our situation. Though we still have to do our jobs and know everything about the opposition, we have to play with no fear.”
See the official website tomorrow for more from the Wimbledon manager on Saturday’s Bradford match.
Dons Player subscribers can now watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium site and Youssef Bamba's thoughts on signing his professional contract with AFC Wimbledon.