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Jake back for Rovers clash

23 December 2015

Dons Player update ahead of Saturday's League 2 game

Neal Ardley today confirmed that Jake Reeves is back available again for AFC Wimbledon’s Boxing Day clash against Bristol Rovers.

Midfielder Reeves (pictured) missed the 2-2 draw at Newport County due to personal reasons, but he has trained this week and is back in contention for the visit of play-off hopefuls Rovers.

Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “Jake came back into the group and trained on Tuesday so that is great news to have him back. He is such a good player. Everybody is fighting hard and we are determined to try and get that momentum back, but there are no easy games in this league and we have to earn that right.”

Tom Beere has returned from his spell on loan with Bishop’s Stortford and is also available for selection.

The Dons will take on a Rovers side enjoying a great start to life back in League 2 after promotion under the guidance of manager Darrell Clarke and Neal Ardley said his squad must learn to grind out victories if they want to be up there challenging with them.

“Darrell took over towards the end of the season when they got relegated and that was a big blow, but it was a great response to get them back up,” said Neal. “They have kept that momentum going and are doing well this season. They find ways of winning games.

“I have watched lots of League 2 football this season and there have been the odd stand-out team here and there, but most sides just find ways of winning games. Sometimes they don’t necessarily deserve to, but they do certain things better than the other team. That’s something that we have to master because we have been very good in games and not won. We have been punished when we’ve been poor.

“We need to find ways of winning all sorts of different games. We will certainly try and do our best over the Christmas period, before having a look in January to see where we go with it.”

Though encouraged by his side’s fightback at Newport, Neal has talked through what went wrong in the first-half with his players in an effort to put things right.

“We had the back five in yesterday and went through some stuff with them,” Neal added. “We have also gone through some comparisons between the first-half and the second-half with the whole team. It was the basics of the game that we did not do in the first-half. At this stage of the season with the way pitches are and conditions you need to start with the basics to give yourselves a platform to play. The second-half was much better with very good momentum and control. Then you can talk about movements and patterns of play, but we have to start much better.”

   The full update from Neal Ardley can now be viewed on Dons Player and an interview with Andy Barcham will follow tomorrow. 

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