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Mark: I'm raring to go

10 February 2015

Defender eager to take his second chance with the Dons

Mark Phillips says he’s raring to go and ready to put a frustrating season behind him after finally making a first-team return.

The experienced defender made his first appearance in a Dons shirt since September on Saturday with injury problems having blighted his time at the club so far.

However, Phillips (pictured) has had games on loan at Aldershot during his spell away from the Wimbledon first-team picture and he’s recently sharpened up with appearances for the development squad after shaking off a hamstring injury.

He’s also been put on the road to a recovery by a rigorous fitness programme initiated by Sports Scientist Jason Moriarty.

Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Phillips said: “It was nice to get game-time on Saturday. Will Nightingale’s injury was unfortunate, but it was good for me to be back after an up and down season. I’ve been working hard to get myself back, fit and raring to go. I’m just pleased that my chance has come again.

“I’ve been doing hard fitness work after all my setbacks. It’s been a mental strain as well as the physical side of things. I’ve always had my back up against the wall over the years and I come out of it working harder.

“We have really good quality in defence and with Jack Smith coming back everyone is going to be competing for places. It will be healthy competition.”

A recent defensive improvement from Wimbledon will receive a stern examination at the Pirelli Stadium against the League 2 leaders Burton Albion tonight and Phillips is aware that the Dons will have to be fully focused for 90 minutes.

“They are top of the league for a reason,” added Phillips. “They have players in every position who can score a goal and win the game. We will need to be on our toes all around the pitch for every single one of the 90 minutes.

“Burton are the league leaders, but we are in good form and we will go there and give it a good go. The mood has been good in our squad since Christmas. We are confident and a win and a clean sheet on Saturday helps us massively.

He has played in every game so far this season and everyone looks to him. Barry is another old head who likes to get the boys together for these games.” “Alan Bennett was captain and a big character at the club and he’s going to be missed, but football moves on. Barry Fuller leads by example with his personality.

 tie.London Senior CupWDON will be providing live radio coverage from the Pirelli Stadium via Dons Player, which features interviews with Mark Phillips and Neal Ardley. Alan Reeves also talks about tonight’s 

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