Striker will be assessed ahead of Barnet
Neal Ardley said that he will check on Bayo Akinfenwa’s fitness tomorrow before selecting his squad for the game against Barnet on Saturday.
Akinfenwa (pictured) came off before half-time with a hamstring strain and he will be assessed ahead of the game. Karleigh Osborne is back from suspension after serving a one-match ban for his sending off at Luton Town, but Tom Elliott (knee) is not yet ready to return.
If Akinfenwa does not pull through in time to feature, Neal says he is pleased with the other striking options he has available.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal said: “Bayo is better than expected and he probably came off at the right time. He does not feel it anywhere near as much. We will see tomorrow and there is no point trying to find out today. We will give it another 24 hours, have a look tomorrow, and we will take a judgement call on the back of that.
“I think we have four really good forwards. Ade Azeez is top scorer at the moment and Lyle looked exceptional at times the other day. It is a lovely problem to have. Tom is making progress, but Stuart Douglas does not anticipate him being back until early next week. Tom wants to get back out there and it’s great that we have players desperately trying to get out on the pitch.”
Neal added that the management team and players are working very hard to rectify the errors that have squandered points in recent weeks, but he believes there has been nothing wrong with the performances.
“We are not a million miles away from doing good things,” said Neal. “We have lost one out of the last seven and that is not bad. We have just turned too many winning positions into draws in games. We know where the problems lie and the things we have to try and master. We will work really hard at that. The spirit is great, the fitness levels of the players are great and I think a lot of the performances have been very good.
“We just have to keep it going. You cannot say Barnet is a must-win game and then the following week isn’t. If you are going to get where we want to go and where we dream of being, it is going to be a consistent level of performance every week and not just because it’s Barnet at home. The fans, players and staff are all frustrated and all we can do is work hard to put things right. We are working on those details, including having more composure in and around the box, and on set-pieces.
“I watched Barnet in midweek against Plymouth and it was an exceptional performance. They had a one-on-one at 1-0 up and the ball hit the inside of a post and rolled across the goal-line. Then three minutes later Plymouth equalised and put the game to bed.
“I have a lot of respect for Martin Allen because he has done good jobs at every club he has been at. He has continued to do it at Barnet and they are going to be strong. They will test us by putting balls into the box and running hard. There are no easy games in this league and I expect Saturday to be anything but that.”
The full six-minute update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an interview with Barry Fuller will follow tomorrow.