Left-back injured but duo return
Neal Ardley has confirmed that Callum Kennedy will miss Saturday’s home match against Portsmouth with a thigh injury.
The left-back (pictured), who has had an impressive second season at Wimbledon, was forced to come off in the first-half of the defeat at Mansfield on Tuesday night.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “Callum tried to cross the ball when he was off balance and he felt his thigh muscle pop. Our initial thoughts are that he has pulled his thigh, which means he is likely to be out for quite a few weeks I would have thought. Until we get the results of a scan we don’t know how long he will be out for.”
However, Wimbledon go into Saturday’s clash against in-form Pompey boosted by the return to fitness of midfielder Tom Beere and centre-back Jake Goodman. Both impressed in a 3-1 win for the development side against AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday with Beere striking twice and Goodman showing his qualities at the back after two months out with a broken toe.
“Jake came through 90 minutes and was a lot less rusty than in his first run-out,” added Neal. “He is in my thoughts now after losing Dave Winfield for Saturday. Tom had a slight hamstring injury, but he scored a couple of goals on Tuesday and he is back in contention.”
The Dons host a Portsmouth side in top form this Saturday and that is in stark contrast to almost three months ago when Neal Ardley’s men won 2-0 at Fratton Park on Boxing Day.
Of course, Matt Tubbs, who scored for Wimbledon on that day, is likely to be in opposition on this occasion and Neal hopes he gets a decent reception from Dons fans.
“I know people are never happy when a player leaves you, but Matt was never a problem for us,” said Neal. “I hope he gets a good reception. Matt was professional and he worked his socks off for us. He scored 15 goals for us before Christmas. If we had him still here would we be closer to the play-offs? Of course we would be. He is a good player, a great lad, and he worked hard for us as a club.
“Portsmouth are in great form. Andy Awford was having a tough time when we went there. They had played a couple of different systems and they were trying to find out what way they were going with it. They have found the key now. They have freed up Jed Wallace and he has played a massive part for them. His assists and goals have been phenomenal. Obviously, Matt Tubbs and Ryan Taylor are in good form and Portsmouth are decent now. They are threatening to do now what we were all expecting them to do at the start of the season.”
Dons Player subscribers can now watch Neal Ardley’s full six-minute update ahead of Pompey and an interview with Jake Goodman will follow tomorrow.