Team news ahead of Barnet game
Neal Ardley will check on the fitness of Jake Reeves and Ryan Sweeney before selecting Wimbledon’s squad to face Barnet on Saturday.
Reeves came off early in the win against Luton with a thigh injury and Sweeney has been struggling with illness this week, though he did return to training today. Midfielder Connor Smith, who suffered concussion in training last week is back in contention, but Karleigh Osborne (knee) is ruled out, as we announced on the official website earlier this week.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal said: “Jake Reeves has not trained yet, but we are hoping he will train tomorrow. He did a bit of running with Jason Moriarty today because the last thing we wanted was someone to knee him in the side of his thigh again to rule him out. We will try and get him another day further down the line to make sure. I am hoping Jake will train tomorrow and if he does then he will be in contention.
“Ryan was ill earlier in the week with a sickness bug, but he came in today and did a very light session. Ryan is still a little bit affected by it and he is another one who is a bit of a doubt. With seven games coming up in quick succession it may be a bit much to throw him in. It’s not ideal given the centre-back situation. We will make a judgement call and we may not select the team tomorrow. We may do everything we want tomorrow and leave it until Saturday.”
Neal added that attempts to bring in an experienced centre-back had proven far from easy and he is reluctant to bring in a younger defender due to Sweeney’s progress.
“We are looking and we’ve had bundles of young lads thrown our way to sign,” said Neal. “Some of them are really talented, but we have a talented lad of our own. We don’t want to bring one in who is young at the moment if we can help it. It would mean Ryan not getting the game-time. We could do with experience, but there is no much out there. A few doors have closed and we are trying to open a couple elsewhere, but it’s not proving easy.
“We are trying to get on with that, but at the same time with the prognosis on Karleigh it’s not great. We all feel for him. He is a popular character and the lads love him. We are trying to get on with the job on one hand, but also keep our eye on him in the next few weeks. We hope the injury settles down and he’s not out for as long as we dread.”
The full interview with Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and a more comprehensive preview ahead of Barnet will feature on the official website tomorrow.