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Fitness check on Jake

21 April 2016

Team news for Leyton Orient clash

Neal Ardley will assess the fitness of midfielder Jake Reeves before selecting his squad for the League 2 game against Leyton Orient.

Reeves (pictured) has not featured since the win at Plymouth due to a hamstring injury, but he is close to a return.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal also said that he was still waiting to find out the full extent of Jon Meades’ ankle injury after he was forced off in the first-half at Dagenham on Tuesday.

“Hopefully Jake may be in with an outside chance of Saturday, but if not, then certainly Tuesday with a bit of luck,” Neal said. “It would mean that we would have the competition back in there. The central midfield area is one position where we are a little bit light. We have an embarrassment of riches up top and we are strong in the centre-back positions, especially now that we’ve got Darius Charles in there.

“We are a little light in midfield. Connor Smith did really well on Saturday, but he had only just come back from a thigh problem and I thought two games in four days would be a big ask for him. We decided to move George Francomb in there and he did a fantastic job for the team.

“We need to get a scan done to make sure on the extent of Jon’s injury. When the swelling goes down you get a better reading so we are waiting for that. The fact he is walking and not on crutches is probably a good sign so hopefully it’s not as bad as first feared.”

Despite those injury concerns, Neal Ardley is delighted with the shape and form of his squad heading into the last four games of a season that could end with a place in the play-offs.

“It’s an old saying in football that you have to take one game at a time, but I cannot affect what other clubs are doing,” Neal added. “What we can effect is that we have four games to go and we are in control of our own destiny. That’s the way we are looking at it and there is a great buzz around the place.

“We feel that the squad is better than it has been all season. We are strong because we made two additions and have players coming back. I look at the players and they feel they can win every game. I had a look last night at form tables and from 1 January we would be second in the league with only Northampton above us. When you look at that the boys can draw confidence from it.”

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The full seven-minute update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player, along with an interview with Andy Barcham.

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