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High praise for Bayo

6 October 2014

Striker has been "unbelievable" says Smith

Jack Smith has saluted Bayo Akinfenwa’s impact at AFC Wimbledon since the striker’s summer arrival at the club.

Defender Smith returned after injury to make only his second league appearance for the Dons in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Cheltenham, but he’s been hugely impressed by Akinfenwa’s influence in a Wimbledon shirt.

Though Akinfenwa missed a great chance to clinch a winner at Whaddon Road after his superb solo run, it never took the shine off his overall contribution.

Speaking to Mike Taliadoros during an interview for Dons Player, Smith said: “Bayo has been unbelievable for us. The way that he holds the ball up and wins headers makes it much easier for the team. Sometimes it’s not pretty to watch, but if you put the ball to within five or 10 yards of him he will bring it down. Bayo was gutted afterwards that he did not score, but he was still head and shoulders above most players on the pitch. If he keeps playing like that then I’m sure he will get more goals.”

Having featured in his first Wimbledon match since 12 August, Smith was understandably pleased to help the Dons to a hard-earned point at Cheltenham, but he says they must build on it.

“We will see what happens on Tuesday night because the manager may make changes,” added Smith. “But hopefully I will stay in the team. We wanted to keep it tight against Cheltenham and we limited them to hardly any chances in the second-half. It was a solid draw and we will take that and move on.

“We know it’s going to be a tough match against Bury, but we seemed to have played better against the best teams. We produced our best performance of the season against Burton and hopefully we can put in another display like that. I was pleased to get through the game after so long out and I felt that I did okay.”

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