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Tough test motivates Andy

23 February 2016

Fit-again winger relishes schedule, ahead of Carlisle

Andy Barcham believes he’s now put a “horrible” spell in his career fully behind him – and the all-action winger is relishing a hectic spell of fixtures coming up.

After missing two months of this season due to a knee injury that interrupted a great start to his Wimbledon career, the 29-year-old came back eager to make up for lost time.

And he’s certainly done that so far as Barcham has only been on the losing side once since returning for the 2-2 draw at Newport in December.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player ahead of tonight’s Carlisle game, Barcham said: “I have my personal targets, which I set at the start of the season, but anything I can do to help the team will be great. Having that injury lay-off was horrible for me. It was about getting my fitness back and getting up to speed, which I feel I've done now.

“It’s going to be great to test myself in this run of games coming up. Hopefully, we can all come through it and start pushing this club where it wants to be. Confidence going through the group is quite high at the moment, which is great. We will certainly need that with this run of games. The fixtures are really congested at this time of the season with a spell of playing Tuesdays and Saturdays.

“It’s going to be a big test playing against teams in and around us. In general, playing that many games in a short space of time is going to be difficult, but all the boys are excited by the challenge.”

The Dons take on a club tonight that has had an eventful season on and off the pitch. The men from Cumbria have managed to stay in striking distance of the play-offs and enjoyed an FA Cup tie against Everton in the same season when their community has been ravaged by the floods.

That even resulted in Carlisle players handing out food parcels and other supplies after training. Barcham was full of praise for that effort and he believes it’s important for clubs to retain an identity with its supporters and local communities.

During the interview with WDON’s Rob Cornell, Barcham added: “What the lads did there was fantastic because it showed that community spirit. The support the players showed was great with the difficult times that people were going through.

“We also have a close-knit club here with everyone involved. Having that backing only helps. In our previous away game the support was unbelievable. It felt like a home game and I don’t think the supporters realise how much that helps. We are reaping the benefits of that. We are focused on being a tight unit as a team and the fantastic support of our fans really benefits that.”

The full interview with Andy Barcham, along with Neal Ardley’s full update ahead of Carlisle, are on Dons Player.

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