Midfield options bolstered for tomorrow night
Jake Reeves is set to be included in the AFC Wimbledon squad for tomorrow night’s clash against Portsmouth after shaking off a hamstring injury.
Reeves has missed the last three games due to the injury, but he’s now back in contention for the run-in.
During a pre-match interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal said he will wait until tomorrow to check on players available to him for a match that could see Wimbledon seal a play-off place with a victory.
“There are one of two that we need to have a look at tomorrow,” said Neal. “I don’t know whether we will be able to pick the same team if we wanted to. We will be back in tomorrow, we will have our food here, and we will count the bodies before making our team selection.
“It is an exciting game and I think everyone is looking forward to it. We want to see if we can get our noses over the line. Portsmouth are more or less there with their goal difference so credit to them, but they will want to finish the season strongly.
“It’s always a good game against them because their fans are great and the atmosphere will be great. I don’t expect it to be cagey, I expect it to be a ding-dong game. Our players are putting in an awful lot of effort and our fans will praise people fighting hard for their club.”
On-loan centre-back Darius Charles is one of several in Wimbledon’s squad to have achieved promotion through the play-offs and with such experience in the ranks Neal is happy to let them get on with it.
“When you sign players you look at the experiences they’ve had and that know-how is vital,” added Neal. “At the moment there is not too much that the management team need to do, though I don’t want to detract from me getting a little bit of praise at some point! The boys are in a good place and we’ve worked hard to get them there. We have some really big characters who have done it before and we don’t have to mess around with them too much.
“I still don’t think Darius is quite where he was during his time at Stevenage. He still feels soreness in his ankle and I think that is going to take longer to get over, but he will play with anything. He is a real man. He praises people, he gets into them, and lifts players. At half-time the other day I could hear him getting into a few before we even went in there and that’s what we want.”
Neal Ardley’s full update is now on Dons Player, along with an interview with Darius Charles, who talks about his time at Wimbledon so far since joining on loan.