Team news ahead of Saturday's game
Neal Ardley will have midfielder Dannie Bulman back in the mix for Saturday’s clash against Luton Town.
Bulman (pictured) has shaken off the hamstring injury that caused him to miss the last two games and Sean Rigg is also back in the reckoning. Jon Meades was struggling with a knee injury earlier this week, but he’s since joined in with full training.
However, it’s not all good news and Neal Ardley reported in an interview for Dons Player that a couple of players were struggling after today’s training session.
“Dannie and Sean have trained all week, which is great,” said Neal. “Jon had a couple of days just to let something settle down at the start of the week, but he’s been back training. However, just when we thought we had a clean bill of health we had a couple of really weird mishaps in training.
“One of the lads got a blow on the side of his face and that made him a bit groggy so that may be a concern to us. If it does turn out that he is slightly concussed he will not be involved. Another lad felt his knee going up for a header. Two innocuous things have happened just when we thought everyone would be fit and fresh, but we will know more tomorrow.”
Neal is expecting another tough battle against a Luton side buoyed by the appointment of Nathan Jones as manager, but he knows it’s reaching a critical time for his squad’s play-off hopes with every point crucial in the coming weeks.
“We have to bring our A-game,” said Neal. “We have eight games in four weeks coming up and we need to bring our best to every single one of them. If we don’t, then we will fall back into inconsistency and we’ll be struggling to keep tabs on the top-seven spots.
“We were champing at the bit last week to play after the result against Yeovil, but we got halfway down the M4 on the way to Bristol and had to turn around. We were disappointed in that, but we have a run of games coming up this month. They are all exciting, but at the beginning of March they are all top games against good teams, and it will tell us where we stand.
“We have to look forward to it and be excited by the challenge. The remit is to keep everyone on the boil for the last third of the season. We need everyone to stay on top of their fitness. We all need to be pushing in the same direction and see where that takes us for the last 18 games. As a management team that’s all you can do. We are not going to be looking to do anything wonderful on the pitch, other than set the team up to go out and try and win every game of football. We are going to need 20 players, not just 11.
“I think that Nathan Jones is starting to put his own stamp on them. Luton have had a couple of good away performances, but similar to us some home games they would have hoped to have won. They are strong and put in a really resilient performance to win at Wycombe. They have a lot of good players, including Paul Benson, Joe Pigott, Craig Mackail-Smith, Jack Marriott and Cameron McGeehan is as good a goalscorer from midfield as you will get in this league.”
The full six-minute update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player, along with interviews with Barry Fuller and Lyle Taylor.