Neal's update ahead of Portsmouth
Neal Ardley will check on the fitness of Bayo Akinfenwa before selecting his squad for the Boxing Day match at Portsmouth.
The striker (pictured) was forced to come off early on against Mansfield and he will be assessed ahead of Pompey after suffering bruising to his shin.
During an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley expressed relief that the injury was not as bad as first feared.
“It’s good news initially because it would have been a big worry if Bayo had suffered a fracture,” said Neal. “That could have put him out for a month or two. It’s still quite sore and we will monitor him. We will put a programme in place to try and get him back during the Christmas period, but I don’t know whether that will be possible. It depends upon how the injury settles down and we will know in the next couple of days.”
Wimbledon face two games in three days with a home match against Exeter following on Sunday and Neal says it’s unlikely that the same 11 will play in both games. The Wimbledon manager is expecting a great atmosphere at Fratton Park on Friday and he’s hoping that his players will rise to the occasion.
“All 11 players are not going to play two games in three days,” added Neal. “But it depends upon the shape of the team and how we are going to approach the games. We will go at it as hard as we can in the first game and if players are weary then others will need to come in and do a job in the second game.
“It’s always a good atmosphere at Portsmouth. Their players have had to adjust to that at this level. They know the fans will get behind them at home and Portsmouth will come at us on Friday. We have to be ready for that and will prepare well in the next two days. There are no easy games in this league, but it will be good for us to play at a great stadium with great fans.
“We need to look at ourselves. In the last seven games in all competitions we have won four, drew one and lost two, which is decent form. But it feels like we are under-achieving in the league. I think Portsmouth will feel the same with their squad and budget. Both teams will be looking to kick-on over Christmas and for the future so that will make it tight.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video update from Neal Ardley on our premium channel and an interview with Dannie Bulman will follow later.