Striker determined to help team in play-off push
Ade Azeez says he will be ready to answer the call if required tomorrow – and the 22-year-old striker is determined to do his bit for AFC Wimbledon’s play-off push.
The clincher at Barnet recently was his eighth goal of the season in 26 appearances this season, including nine starts, but Azeez has had to settle for cameo roles since due to the excellent form of Lyle Taylor and Tom Elliott.
With Taylor and Elliott both having had their injury problems this week, Azeez is primed for more game-time during a hectic month of games.
“I’m always ready,” said Azeez during an interview for Dons Player, ahead of tomorrow’s Accrington game. “I do extra in training if need be and ask to play in development games to keep my match sharpness up. When the gaffer says the time is right for me there is no excuse to say that I’m not fit. I want to help the team to the best of my ability so I am always ready.
“With the amount of games I’ve started I am happy with eight goals, but mainly I want to help the team. I feel I am improving under the manager and his coaching staff and that I can continue to do that. We are even closer as a group this year and that can only be a good thing. We are showing that now and hopefully we can make that extra push to get into the play-off spots.
“Every game in this league is tough and we know what Accrington are all about. They never lie down and will keep on fighting if they are losing. They are not going to just come here and take a draw and will be aiming to win, but we are ready for it.”
Having entered the fray as a late substitute in a hugely creditable 1-1 draw at league leaders Northampton Town on Tuesday, Azeez watched Taylor and Elliott lead the line effectively. Their performances impressed him greatly - and he believes it sums up the fine recruitment made by Neal Ardley last summer.
“It’s always good to be a part of a squad that gets a result like that,” added Azeez. “It was a really good result for us against the best team in the league, but we even had chances to win it. Lyle and Tom are in great form. They are both working hard for the team and causing problems for opposition defences. It was a world-class goal that Lyle scored. If Neymar had scored that goal they would have been talking about if for weeks. It was a brilliant finish.
“The strikers here are always trying to encourage each other, whoever starts or comes on. In training we offer each other advice and there’s always a bit of competition to see who can score the most goals. That can only help everyone in the team.
“Last season people were saying it was the best squad we had ever had, but it’s gone up again and to have an even better squad speaks volumes. The manager made some excellent signings last summer and the performances have been better this season.”
The full interview with Ade Azeez is on Dons Player, along with Neal Ardley’s update ahead of Accrington.