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Attacking boost for Dons

28 September 2015

Team news ahead of Northampton Town

Neal Ardley has confirmed that Andy Barcham is fit to make tomorrow night’s match against Northampton and the Wimbledon manager is delighted to welcome back Lyle Taylor after suspension.

Barcham (pictured) was forced to come off late on at Luton with a tight hamstring, but he has received the all-clear from physio Stuart Douglas and Taylor has now served his three-game suspension.

However, striker Tom Elliott is ruled out after missing the Luton game due to a knee injury and Karleigh Osborne is suspended for one match after his sending off for two bookable offences at Kenilworth Road.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “Andy was in on Sunday for treatment, Stuart had a look at him and said he is fine. Tom got clattered in training on Friday and fell a bit awkwardly. He has a bit of a medial knee ligament strain that probably needs another six to 10 days so Tom will be out for the foreseeable future.

“But we have good news with Lyle Taylor being back from suspension. He has done a lot of work and has looked sharp in training. Hopefully, we will have a different animal coming back into the fray. He has got great qualities and that was the reason I brought him in. I watched a lot of video footage of Lyle in matches before I signed him.

“I think that we just needed to get him up to speed because he was messed around a bit in the summer. He was a bit behind everyone. Lyle needs to get a run of games in the team, but we want competition for places. We don’t want anyone resting on their laurels. Ade Azeez has been training good and playing well when he has come on so that’s what we want.”

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Neal added that the Dons will look to attack Northampton and really get the supporters behind them under the lights.

“We will focus hard on being on the front foot,” Neal said. “All I can really focus on is the team and us being mentally and physically strong. We want to have a game plan and know what we are trying to achieve on the ball. We will try and do that again on Tuesday night.

“There is something about floodlights and night games at home that brings out the best in us. I hope that is the case tomorrow. Our fans can play a massive part. Home and away they are always brilliant. It is their club and as long as they see the players giving absolutely everything I am sure they will support us.

“Northampton are a good team and they are in a decent run of form. The feedback from teams that they have played has been very positive about them. They are expected to be in and around the play-offs. Chris Wilder has recruited well, but every team is stronger this season.

“I read the reports of different games and York were saying that Notts County were the best team they had played so far. I didn’t necessarily see that from when we played them, but maybe we have to give ourselves some credit. Despite the result, I thought that we were good again on Saturday.”

The full update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player, along with an extensive interview with Paul Robinson.

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