Wide-man on Wycombe test and moving forward
George Francomb believes that AFC Wimbledon are starting to reap the benefits of improvements on and off the pitch in his third full season with the club.
The 24-year-old’s association with Wimbledon goes back to before Neal Ardley’s appointment as he spent three months on loan here at the start of 2012/13, before joining permanently the following summer.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player ahead of tomorrow’s match against Wycombe, Francomb (pictured) said: “I think there has been a phenomenal change here with the professionalism off the pitch and the squad that we have now put together. The squad has got slightly better in every season that I’ve been here and we are going in the right direction.
“I believe our performances in general merit being higher up the league. At the start of this season we were conceding sloppy goals and it was costing us, but we have been working really hard to cut them out. Hopefully, we can keep moving up the league.”
Francomb earned the club’s young player of the year accolade at the end of his first full season in 2013/14 and he was one of the most consistent performers in a Dons shirt during the last campaign. However, the right midfielder admitted that his form dipped a little earlier this season and he’s determined to get back to his best.
“I got off to a good start again and hit the ground running, but there was a spell when we had quite a few games and I was feeling a bit tired,” added Francomb. “Maybe my form dipped a little, but I think my stats speak for themselves. Last season in this league I was up there in terms of most assists and it’s similar again this season. You have to keep belief in yourself. In the last four league games we have been on a good run. I had that bit of a rest for a couple of games, I have come back in, and the team is flying again. It is looking positive again for us.
“Since I came through at Norwich I have always played in a few different positions and I would say one of my key strengths is game understanding. I can still do a job at right-back and I have played in midfield, but obviously right midfield is my main position. I have built-up a good relationship with Barry Fuller on the right side and I have enjoyed every minute of it since I’ve been here.”
Last season’s three matches against Wycombe Wanderers were all keenly-contested affairs and Francomb is expecting more of the same tomorrow.
“I think it will be similar,” Francomb said. “Though they have juggled it around with new players from last season, the philosophy of Gareth Ainsworth remains the same. They will play a high-tempo game and will want to get the ball forward quickly. They are effective and we will have to match their tempo, make sure we get on top and push them back into their own half. We have to impose our game on them.”
The full interview with George Francomb featured on Dons Player yesterday, along with Neal Ardley’s update ahead of Wycombe.