Forward targets a regular starting role
Bayo Akinfenwa is set to be back in AFC Wimbledon’s squad for the trip to Portsmouth and he hopes his return will give the manager a selection dilemma in the coming weeks.
Bayo has not started since the win at Accrington with a thigh injury having restricted his minutes on the pitch, but he is relishing his return to action as the Dons pursue a third successive win on the road.
However, he accepts that competition is fierce for a starting role up front.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Akinfenwa said: “I spoke about Lyle Taylor at the start of the season and I gave him 20 goals to get as his target. It’s not just his goals, but his fitness and his all-round play. At the moment it is exceptional. That’s a big word to use, but that is the form he has been in recently. Ade Azeez has also come on in leaps and bounds this season. Then you have me and Tom Elliott. It is a good problem for the manager to have.
“No one likes to start on the bench. I talk a good game, but I want to be playing. It is a good problem for the manager and I think it shows how far we have come this season. The manager works us hard on the training pitch, but within reason so that we can be fresh for games. I have trained all week and there has been no repercussions after injury. I am looking forward to the games. We are only three points off third place so we are moving in the right direction.”
Bayo is under no illusions about the size of the task Wimbledon will face against a side regarded as one of the favourites for automatic promotion. However, the Dons are likely to be cheered on by a sizeable travelling support – and Bayo is determined to put on a show for them.
“Portsmouth are the biggest team in this league with the crowds that they get every week,” added Bayo. “When you have the likes of Matt Tubbs not really starting that shows the quality they have in their squad. We know it’s not going to be an easy task, but at the same time we have been finding our form. We are confident and if we go there and show what we are capable of then we can get the desired result.
“I have got a beautiful relationship with our fans. I think they are immense. When things are not going well they stick with us. Hopefully we can give them something to cheer about on Sunday. As long as they stick with us through good, bad and indifferent times we will keep moving in one direction and that’s forward.”
The full interview with Bayo and an update from Neal Ardley are now on Dons Player.
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