Team news from the boss ahead of Newport
The Dons have been handed a double boost ahead of a hectic fixture schedule with Sammy Moore and Alfie Potter both returning to training.
Neal Ardley told Dons Player that Moore (pictured) has been back training this week after recovering from a toe injury and Potter is in line for a recall against Newport County on Saturday after he put a groin injury behind him.
“They are both fit,” said Neal. “Alfie trained today and Sammy has been back all week. Last Saturday just came a little bit too soon for them and with a glut of games coming up it was right to give them time to recover. We are going to need them both because we have a tough week coming up. I think they will play a big part in that.
“It’s getting to that time of year when the pitches are heavy and fatigue can kick in. We are trying everything to keep the boys on top of their games physically.”
Jack Smith is making good progress after returning to full training following a thigh injury, but this Saturday will come too soon for the full-back.
“Jack has trained for 10 days now and we’ve pencilled in Jack for the Under-21s match next Tuesday night (London Senior Cup tie v Corinthian Casuals). If he can get 70-80 minutes in this game then it should put the edge on him that he needs. He will still probably not be as sharp as he could be, but I think he’ll be ready to come back into the squad and that will be a big bonus.”
The Dons head into Saturday’s game against Newport with Neal Ardley in upbeat mood about how his new-look squad is starting to bond off the pitch ahead of a key stage this season.
“In that first week they are getting to know each other, but now you can see young Craig Tanner with a smile on his face and enjoying himself,” Neal added. “The boys also have a lot of respect for David Connolly because they can see he is a class act. Deji Oshilaja is also coming out of his shell and Will Nightingale is starting to feel a part of it.
“We’ve got a lot of games coming up in a short space of time and hopefully there is a lot of togetherness in this group. With tough games coming up, we need to be together and work hard for each other. Long may that continue.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview on our premium channel and an interview with Deji Oshilaja will follow tomorrow.