Team news ahead of trip to Somerset
The Dons will be strengthened for Saturday’s League 2 match at Yeovil Town by the availability of flying winger Andy Barcham.
Neal Ardley confirmed during his Thursday update for Dons Player that Barcham (pictured) has returned to full training after missing the trip to Mansfield with a head injury.
Defender Karleigh Osborne has also recovered after injury, but the club has been unsuccessful in an appeal against Lyle Taylor’s sending off at Mansfield.
“Andy had to sit it out for six days after the JPT game against Plymouth, which ruled him out last weekend, but he has trained this week,” Neal said. “Karleigh missed the early part of this week, but he has trained today.
“We did appeal against Lyle Taylor’s sending off and we asked Mansfield if they would help us because they felt it was not a sending off. We did get a statement from Mansfield, but it came a little bit late to submit it on Tuesday. Whether that would have made a difference I do not know.
“The decision has come through that they (The FA) have agreed with the referee and Lyle will be suspended for three games, which is a big disappointment. He was starting to show the qualities that we know he has got. We will use the time he has out well and make sure when he does come back that he is flying.”
With no Tuesday first-team game for a second successive week, Neal Ardley says the time has been well utilised to work on things with his squad ahead of the trip to Somerset.
“Games continue a certain line of fitness, but you need to top it up with different aspects whenever you can,” Neal added. “We have done that and we spilt the squad into different groups based on areas of fitness that they need for their positions. We did that on Tuesday, which was really important.
“Today, we have done a lot of work on us and being good at what we do. We will do that again tomorrow and try and keep our performance levels high. We feel that we have got good players, but we have to make sure that as a team our performance levels are high. That is what it is all about when you get these weeks of freedom to do some coaching.
“Last season was a struggle for Yeovil and they have had to address the whole squad. It has been difficult because they have had a lot of injuries. You look at the players they have out and they would make a huge difference. Fair play to the lads in there though because they have been playing well.
“They came from behind to beat Luton and against Morecambe they got a man sent off early on. They have a good size about them and are athletic. They will see this as one that they can win at home and pick-up their form.”
The full six-minute-plus update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an interview with George Francomb will follow tomorrow.