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Sammy on Cheltenham

1 March 2013

Midfielder on finding his best form and Byron's threat

Wimbledon favourite Sammy Moore says he needs more time to recapture his best form after winning his place back in the side.

During an in-depth interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Sammy spoke about Wimbledon’s survival prospects, renewing acquaintances with Byron Harrison at Cheltenham tomorrow, and giving his close pal Luke Moore stick for not scoring lately!

However, after missing four months due to injury during 2012/13, Sammy is deadly serious about doing all he can to repeat the form that earned him last season’s club player of the year.

Here’s the full interview with Sammy, which appeared earlier today on Dons Player:

Though we lost the opening game of Neal Ardley’s reign against Cheltenham, I guess it is not so much about putting that right but keeping our recent run going as we have only lost twice this year?

It is going to be a tough game, but there are not many matches to go and we really need the points on the board. We have a few injuries and players out through illness, but we will prepare in the best way possible. We have to stick together in these tough times. We were unlucky in the end not to get three points against Plymouth, but we produced a slow start and that was disappointing. I thought on Saturday at Dagenham we were excellent in the way that we closed down their players and everyone who played showed what it meant to put on the Wimbledon shirt. I think the fans could see that and to have nearly 900 fans for an away match was first-class. Not many clubs in our league can get that support away from home. Since I joined this club, the fans have stuck by us through thick and thin. I am sure they will continue to do that and we need to get five more wins for them. I think that we will get those wins to avoid relegation.

Alan Bennett will come under the spotlight against his former club tomorrow, but what have you made of his impact since he joined from Cheltenham?

Alan is a player that the fans have really taken to and he has come in and settled in really well. That is the good thing about this club as I was also made to feel welcome when I joined too. Alan is a great lad and the experience he has brought to the team has been vital. He has been superb since he came in and I am sure he will get a good reception from the Cheltenham fans.

Have the new signings really made everyone in the squad up their games during the past month?

Mat Mitchel-King has shown that he can play centre-back and right back too. I thought he was excellent at right-back against Plymouth. I have had to wait for my chance and it has been a frustrating season for me. Having been out for four months due to injury, it has taken me a while to get back up to speed. I am doing as much as I can in training, but I have to get the balance right in terms of when to do extra as I don’t want to be stiff going into games. I need maybe three or four games to get that match fitness up to speed. When I put the Wimbledon shirt on though, I will always give 110 per cent.It’s not all about the 11 that start though and recent weeks have shown that it is about the squad. Kevin Sainte-Luce and Jesse Darko have both made an impact when they have come on as substitutes and the gaffer has assembled a good squad with the signings that he made in January.Everyone is fighting for their places as the gaffer has brought in quality players. We need that competition for places.

We are likely to come up against our former striker Byron Harrison tomorrow and how important will it be to keep him quiet?

When Byron first joined Wimbledon, it did not happen for him, but when he came back in the summer I said to Luke Moore that he looked a different player. He came back hungrier and sharper and was a real handful up front. I think the fans could see that. I wish him all the best now that he is at Cheltenham. He has not been starting much there, but if he comes on then we will have to be wary of him. He is a strong lad, who can be a danger as he causes problems for defences. 

With Cheltenham pushing for the play-offs again, they have plenty of threats from other areas though?

“They are a top side and made the play-offs last season. They have one of the strongest midfields in League 2 with Marlon Pack, Russell Penn and Darren Carter. You do not get a much better three than those in midfield. It is going to be a really tough game. We will need to close them down, get in their faces, and stop Cheltenham playing. We need to make it difficult for them and if we can do that, then I am sure we can get a result. They will be aiming to build on their draw against Fleetwood, but we are unbeaten in four games and we need to do all do our jobs so that we can keep the momentum going.

It is usually about this time of year when your close friend Luke Moore gets his shooting boots on?

I know that Luke wants to play further forward, but he is doing a great job for the team on the wing and he has been first-class this season. It’s about time he started scoring again and I am going to tell him that in a minute before training!


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