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Bayo relieved to be back

29 December 2014

Forward feared the worst after injury

Bayo Akinfenwa is relishing the second half of 2014/15 after shaking off an injury that he feared had ruined his season.

The 32-year-old returned with a bang by scoring as a late substitute against Exeter yesterday, but his mood afterwards was in stark contrast to eight days earlier when he suffered an injury that initially appeared to be worse than bruising to his shin.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Bayo said: “It was a great feeling to get a 20-minute run-out and score a goal. Last Saturday I was down because I thought it was a serious injury. I thought I may even have broken my leg. I left the place on crutches after Mansfield and I only managed to train again yesterday (Saturday).

“I thought the team were immense again. To get six points out of the last two games shows the level of confidence we’ve got. The next game is a big one and we’re all looking forward to that. It’s a great way to end the year and our first game in the New Year is Liverpool. The manager made it abundantly clear that we had to put the Liverpool game to the back of our minds and show consistency in the league matches. That’s what we’ve managed to do.” The win at Portsmouth was the only League 2 match out of 23 games that Bayo has missed this season and he’s also scored nine goals in all competitions. Though happy with his time at AFC Wimbledon so far, Bayo believes he can help the team scale greater heights during 2015 after Neal Ardley’s men rose up to 11

“I’m enjoying myself here,” added Bayo. “I am happy with my return in terms of games and goals. That shuts up people’s perceptions that I’m not able to play many games. I’ve started every other league game apart from Portsmouth. The one game that stands out as a disappointment for me was the Cambridge match when I missed that chance. Even though I’m 32 and an upbeat person, those things stay in your mind. It drives you forward to better yourself though and keep going.

“I feel fit, strong and we’ve got seven days before the next game. I’ll get some good training into me and hopefully I will be ready to start if I get back into the team for the Liverpool game.

“We’re getting to know each other more as a squad and working on being better every day in training. I think when you’re a new team you tend to be too nice to each other because you don’t want to get on the wrong side of people. But now we’ve been together for half a season. We’re getting to know how to get the best out of each other and playing to our strengths.

  “I think we’re really working for each other and you can see the results of that on the pitch now. I think we are in the position we deserve because we’ve been a little bit inconsistent. But we are just four points off the play-off positions and we have a third round cup tie against Liverpool coming up. We’re looking up the table rather than down and long may that continue.” 

Dons Player subscribers can watch the full seven-minute video interview with Bayo Akinfenwa, Neal Ardley’s post-match reaction after Exeter, and match highlights.

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