Dons defender on back to back away victories
Callum Kennedy believes the Dons have a different mentality this season – and he’s delighted to be playing a part after grasping his second chance at the club.
Despite admitting he’s not fully fit, Kennedy (pictured) has certainly let no one down after replacing the injured Jack Smith by providing a steady presence at left-back in the wins at Luton and Southend.
Speaking to Dons Player, Kennedy said it’s a scenario that he certainly never expected after he was released by the Dons in May.
The 24-year-old, who has a League 2 championship medal after helping Swindon to success in 2011, said: “I think there is a different mentality from what we had last season. I’m not sure we were capable of getting back to back 1-0 victories away from home last season. In that sense it is very pleasing and we’ve shown that will to win. We really dug in to get the result and it was the same at Luton on Saturday.
“I thought we started the game really well tonight and played some good stuff, but we started to drop deeper and as our defence were pushed back it opened up more space for them. The manager told us about that at half-time and we tried to step up and push on a bit. We stayed strong all game and George has scored a great goal to win it.
“As part of a back five, including James Shea, I feel very comfortable. Adam Barrett has been a very big help. When Andy Frampton got injured I was worried that we would not have that player who is leading and talking to everyone at the back, especially from my perspective with Alan Bennett on the other side. Adam has big experience because he’s been there and done it. It’s brilliant playing next to him and having someone to talk you through the game.”
Kennedy added that he’s relishing the challenge of showing what he can do again at Wimbledon.
“I’m still not 100 per cent fit yet and it’s been a real grind for me,” he said. “I felt that at the end with playing Saturday and Tuesday, but when you come off the pitch after wins like tonight it is thoroughly enjoyable. It’s an amazing feeling and makes it all worthwhile. I just wanted to make sure that I came back fit this season. I was not expecting to even be here this season and now I’m playing games. Unfortunately, Jack got injured and that gave me a chance. Obviously, we’ve got two clean sheets and the ball is in my court now to stay in the team.”
Dons Player subscribers can now watch the full video interview with Callum Kennedy, match highlights of the win at Southend, and Neal Ardley's post-match reaction.