Update on Will Nightingale after injury
Neal Ardley has confirmed that Will Nightingale will miss the trip to Luton Town this Saturday as the 20-year-old centre-back requires a knee operation.
Nightingale (pictured) was due to have an operation today after suffering the injury against Notts County and Neal brought us up to date with the player’s situation during an interview at the training ground.
“It is not great news,” Neal told Dons Player. “Will has a couple of options and one of those is a short-term one. This would repair the tear in his cartilage and it could work. It is likely to be a six-eight week job and we will see how it stabilises Will’s knee from then on. The second option is a bit more serious and long-term. It would probably put paid to his season if Will took that option.
“After advice from the surgeon and Stuart Douglas – obviously I have also been in on it – everyone, including Will, is happy to take the first option. If it works that will be great and the second option is a last resort.”
All at AFC Wimbledon wish Will Nightingale a speedy recovery in his recuperation.
The Dons head for Kenilworth Road on Saturday with Neal believing that his squad are feeling the benefit of a good fitness programme in recent weeks after a spell without a midweek first-team game.
“We have used these three weeks without a midweek game to do a lot of fitness work,” said Neal. “The boys are buying into it as they always do. I think the late goals we have been scoring are helping them to believe that they are fit and strong. We are coming into a spell of playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, again and that is always tough. We need to be ready for that. The Under-21s also need to keep at it because we could be needing everyone.
“Having a good bench is always key. If you look at the Exeter game, Lyle Taylor, Ade Azeez and Sean Rigg came on and helped get us a goal. On Saturday, Bayo was on the whole time, but Ade has come on and assisted for the winner. Dannie Bulman played the whole game and he popped up with the equaliser so there are elements of fitness to keep going.
“A lot of stuff we have been working on has been to do with the mentality of the squad. Earlier on in the season, we faced adversity in the Plymouth and Cambridge games when we were caught on the sucker-punch, but we did not deal with it well. Our overall performance went off the rails a bit. We have tried to focus on sticking to what we are about as a team.
minute. We also did it against Exeter and on Saturday when it looked like being one of those days we kept going. I thought we ran them off the park in the end.”th“We have focused a lot on facing adversity if we fall behind. We have to stick to being us and we did that against Yeovil when we scored in the 79
The full seven-minute update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player, along with an interview with Jon Meades ahead of Luton Town.