Update from coach ahead of JPT tie
Simon Bassey says the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at home to Southend United tomorrow night offers a valuable opportunity for players in the squad to stake a claim.
The Wimbledon coach said that George Francomb is not yet ready to return after missing Saturday’s defeat against Stevenage Borough due to a toe injury.
Wimbledon will not be making wholesale changes for this match as JPT competition rules state that clubs must include in the team at least six of the starting 11 from their preceding league game.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Simon Bassey said: “The rules are there for everyone to adhere to and we will do that, but it also gives a chance to introduce some of the younger players into the squad and players who have been substitutes. It’s a competition that we would like to do well in. It is difficult because the games come thick and fast at the start of this season and you are risking picking up injuries if you keep flogging the same players. It provides us with a chance to freshen the team up and players have a chance to stake a claim for Saturday.”
One of those players could be Ade Azeez, who scored his first Wimbledon league goal on Saturday against Stevenage.
“We are looking for Ade to improve his game and understanding,” added Simon Bassey. “He is young and raw, but he has some really good attributes. Ade is a fantastic kid and he wants to work really hard. He will complement the other two well and it’s a good year for him. Ade does not have to deal with the pressure of having to play every week, but he is getting his minutes and he will improve his game understanding. Ade will get better and better as the season goes on.”
Despite a second successive league defeat for Wimbledon on Saturday, Simon Bassey believes it’s been far from a bad start to the season.
“I don’t tend to look at the league table for 10-12 games anyway, but if we had lost five then maybe it would be different,” added Simon. “We are disappointed with the last two home games, but we won the two away games before that and if you changed that around people would be saying that it was a decent start to the season. Of course, the home form has to be better and we are looking at every aspect to improve.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full five-minute interview with Simon, along with an interview with Ade Azeez.