Interview with on-loan defender ahead of Pompey
Darius Charles believes he’s edging closer to recapturing his best form after putting the most difficult time of his career behind him.
The 28-year-old was out for over a year with a broken leg, but he’s now played seven games – six of those victories – since joining Wimbledon on loan.
And the defender is relishing another tilt at reaching the play-offs after helping Stevenage to promotion five years ago.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player ahead of tonight’s game against Portsmouth, Charles said: “I was a long time out of the sport and I have been lucky to have good people around me, including my partner and family. That kept me upbeat and helped me through the hardest time in my career. I think I’ve done okay here, but I definitely have more to give as I get fitter and stronger.
“I want to get back to where I was before my injury. I would like to think I have more to offer, physically, vocally and with my reading of the game. They are things that come over time. I was never going to be 100 per cent straight away, but I am working towards being 100 per cent.
“It could have been better so far with seven wins, but you cannot have it all! Winning is always the main motivation. As great as the time was (previous promotion) and I will never forget it, this is something completely different. If the worst happened in the play-offs, what I did with Stevenage would mean nothing. Hopefully, we can keep our heads down and continue our form.”
Charles, who was brought up in Ealing has certainly enjoyed his time with Wimbledon so far – and he believes there is great unity within the squad to achieve their goal.
“The boys here are brilliant,” added Charles. “I’ve been in some great dressing rooms, but I’ve also been a bit unfortunate when things are not going well and it’s not the best. This is definitely a great place to be. You need a group of players working towards a common goal in terms of achieving something.
“Everyone in football knows a bit about AFC Wimbledon in terms of its history. Last year I was at Stevenage and Dave Beasant was goalkeeping coach so he kept telling me about the old school stories. He obviously also mentioned the penalty save!
“It’s nice being back home and I’m enjoying my time here. It’s lovely being around good, hard-working people. This is a great club and if things were right I don’t see why I would turn down an opportunity to come here.”