Strikers raring to go for Exeter City clash
Neal Ardley told Dons Player that Tom Elliott and Lyle Taylor are in contention for Saturday’s home match against Exeter City after both strikers took part in full training today.
Elliott (pictured) has shaken off the groin strain that he suffered in the 1-1 draw at Carlisle and Taylor is also fit after putting an ankle knock behind him.
However, Dannie Bulman is still struggling with a hamstring injury that forced him to come off early on at Brunton Park.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley also said that the “outstanding” performance of Ade Azeez for the Under-21s at Cambridge on Tuesday had given him something to think about in terms of team selection for Exeter.
“Dannie did not train today so he will be a doubt for the game, but Tom and Lyle did,” said Neal. “Ade has been coming off the bench and doing really well in games. Up until he got injured in pre-season Ade had started really well with a different mentality.
“By all accounts Ade was outstanding in the game on Tuesday and scored his goals, which is what we bang on at him about. That will give him confidence and it gives me food for thought with him. It is good to have four strikers working incredibly hard to get into the team.
“Egli Kaja also did very well in the game on Tuesday and he has trained quite well. He is trying to add more end product to his game. Will Nightingale also played and was really solid. It is really pleasing because Alan Reeves has been speaking really highly about them all. That is what we need to have because if we get injuries or come up short we don’t want to be going elsewhere if we can help it.”
Neal added that the management team had introduced extra training sessions this week after conceding goals from set-pieces in recent weeks.
“One thing we said to the players is that if we are not getting set pieces right we are going to do more work on them in the afternoons,” Neal said. “I was certainly not going to fit them in earlier in the week because we did not have the numbers (due to Under-21s match). We will go through that today and do a double session this afternoon.
“It is not a punishment. If we are not doing them right on the pitch we need to work on them. We need to be well drilled so that we are better at both ends of the pitch.”
The full interview with Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and a more extensive preview of the Exeter game will follow tomorrow. Look out for an interview with Bayo Akinfenwa on Dons Player tomorrow.