Manager's update for Dons Player
Neal Ardley said he will assess the fitness of Tom Elliott and Lyle Taylor before selecting his squad for the match at Milton Keynes on Saturday.
Will Nightingale is also doubtful with a knee injury and the match will come too soon for Andy Barcham (hamstring) and Darius Charles (thigh).
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “We have a few niggles at the end of a tough period. Tom Elliott with his back, Lyle with his hip, and Will Nightingale’s knee has flared up, so we have a few problems that we will have a look at tomorrow. Whatever way we go, we will give it our best shot.”
AFC Wimbledon go into Saturday’s match having lost just once in seven games and Neal is pleased with the way his squad has stood up to the challenge of a tough schedule.
“We are delighted,” added Neal. “If you look at 20 games in and being on 29 points, we would have taken that. It has got us up to seventh place, which is great. We had a 10-game spell in 35 days and we wanted to try and be in two cup competitions and get 30 points on the board. Saturday is the last one of those 10 games and we are a point away from our target. We are still in one cup and most importantly in the cup that we would have wanted to be in. We are happy with the small gains in that spell. We have hit some targets and we will try our best to hit another target on Saturday.”
With Tyrone Barnett having hit the goal trail in the last week, Neal was full of praise for his contribution.
“We are big on trying to be a family within our squad here,” added Neal. “We do not like singling people out and having star players. Everybody is in it for each other. Tom, Lyle and Dom have earned a lot of headlines over the course of the season and rightly so because they’ve been an awesome strike-force with goals and assists. Tyrone has not quite had that or the playing time or the adulation that those guys have had.
“At half-time against Fleetwood when things were not working, it was not down to him. It was more down to the system and the shape. For him to have that bad feeling of coming off and to follow it up with the week he’s had, is great. He came off the bench and made a huge difference in the cup tie and then on Tuesday, without a shadow of a doubt, he was our man of the match. He deserves to be told that and the boys have got around Tyrone and said that they are delighted with him. That is the most important thing.”
. Dons PlayerThe full seven-minute update with Neal Ardley is now on