Reaction after superb 6-2 win v AFC Bournemouth
Alan Reeves has praised David Fitzpatrick’s attitude and work ethic after the 20-year-old attacking talent marked his return from a loan spell by scoring a stunning hat-trick.
Fitzpatrick spent a month at Ryman Premier League club Tonbridge Angels, before striking a treble in last night’s 6-2 win against AFC Bournemouth and the experience proved invaluable, according to Alan.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, AFC Wimbledon’s Senior Professional Development Phase Coach said: “David had seven games at Tonbridge, where I know the manager quite well, and some weeks I received glowing reports about him. I watched him in a couple of games and we also got favourable reports about how good his energy levels were, his work-rate, and not just the stuff he does going forward.
“The issue we had was with his defensive qualities, but he seems to have addressed that. He even played on Saturday for Tonbridge and I said to him ‘I need to use you on Monday’. He took the bull by the horns from minute one last night until he came off near the end. He worked his socks off and he got his rewards.
“You can tell young lads as much as you want about what is expected from them, but it’s a cruel world and ‘Fitzy’ has only ever played at QPR and here. He had not seen the other side of life and how football can be cruel. You can end up playing in the Ryman Premier, though I don't mean any disrespect to that level. I think he has thought ‘what I have at Wimbledon is not bad and I would be a fool to let this go’. ‘Fitzy’ has had a taste of playing at a lower level and he did ever so well.”
Reeves was full of praise for his side’s overall display in last night’s Final Third Development League match with Under-18 forwards Dan Ano and Toyosi Olusanya leading the charge up front.
“It was a brilliant performance,” added Alan. “Take the score line out of the way and from number 1 to 15 – we used four substitutes – they all played their part. They gave everything they had physically, mentally and tactically. The result reflected our standard of play.
“We tried to look after Dan and Toyosi by playing them for as little time as possible because they have the FA Youth Cup on Friday. For the time that they were on the pitch they were both outstanding. They both have pace to burn and used that to their advantage. Dan and Toyosi did not try to do anything that they are not good at, they used their pace, and caused them all kinds of problems.”
The full five-minute interview with Alan Reeves is now on Dons Player.
Picture credit: Stuart Butcher, Pro Sports Images.