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Shea: back three is solid

21 July 2015

Goalkeeper says defence can be relied upon

James Shea believes that AFC Wimbledon’s defensive shape is coming together well during pre-season and the Dons will be tough to beat if Neal Ardley decides to go with three at the back.

Speaking before departing for the pre-season training camp to La Manga yesterday, the 24-year-old talked enthusiastically about his return after injury and playing behind a back line that functioned well against Millwall on Saturday.

“I think the manager wants to go with a back three and we have three solid defenders,” said Shea. “It is a good partnership there and I never felt under too much under pressure (against Millwall). I thought we handled them well and our back three of Barry Fuller, Will Nightingale and Karleigh Osborne all did fantastic. Overall, I think we did very well and the only reason that they scored was because we had nine men at the end.

“I was over the moon to get 80 minutes. I felt a bit tired towards the end and I lost a bit of distance with my kicking, but I was very pleased with it overall. I have put a little bit of weight on during pre-season, and I want to get stronger if I can. But I will do that little by little.”

Shea, who made 46 appearances in his first season with the Dons in 2014/15, is far from resting on his laurels though with Joe McDonnell providing competition for the number one spot.

“Joe did really well against Watford and Basingstoke,” added Shea. “He showed what he could do in those games. Joe has put pressure on me now and I have to maintain my level to stay in the team.”

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