Update from Neil ahead of New Year's Eve clash
Neil Cox today challenged the squad to end a hugely successful 2016 on a high by delivering a positive result at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neil said: “It’s been an absolutely brilliant year. We are not going to have a go at the players for one disappointing display at Southend. It is not going to ruin what we have done, but we cannot afford for it to happen again. Now we want to go on and have another good season. We had a meeting with the players this morning. We told the players how well they have done in the last year, but we said that now is the time to kick on and get stronger. We want to get through this last game before the New Year and have another good year.
“The lads did a lot of their own work today with what they needed to do. We’ve watched the DVDs and gone through a few clips. Then we managed to get over an hour in, but the pitches are still firm so we have to be careful with them. They (Bristol Rovers) are in good form and it will be difficult. They play 4-4-2 sometimes or 3-5-2 and they score goals. It’s a difficult place to go. It’s our last game of the year so we want to go there and try to get three points.”
Neil told WDON’s Rob Cornell that the trip to Bristol will come too soon for Chris Whelpdale, who has not yet recovered from a groin injury. Of course, Lyle Taylor is suspended for one game due to his sending off against Southend, but Neil reported no fresh injury concerns among the squad ahead of Saturday.
One of AFC Wimbledon’s Wembley heroes Kelle Roos is likely to be in the Rovers squad on Saturday and Neil praised current Dons goalkeeper James Shea for grasping his opportunity since the Dutchman departed.
“James was left out of the side, but he did not sulk,” added Neil. “He put his head down, worked really hard every day with ‘Bayzo’ and he took his chance. If I get a chance to speak to Kelle I will say to him that he should be disappointed not to be in the side, but work even harder to get back in.”
.Dons PlayerThe full update from Neil Cox and an extensive interview with James Shea about his eventful 2016 are now on