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Alan's praise for Azeez

16 March 2016

Development coach commends striker's attitude

Development coach Alan Reeves was able to deliver a boost to Neal Ardley regarding two of his first team squad players after yesterday’s game against Luton Town.

Left back Callum Kennedy had a useful workout on the wing for eighty minutes, while striker Ade Azeez (pictured) netted twice – once from the penalty spot – as the young Dons were narrowly beaten 3-2 at Hitchin Town FC.

“It was a fitness exercise for those boys,” said Reeves in an interview to Dons Player. “They’ve not had a lot of minutes lately. I brought Callum off towards the end as he’s more of a left back and put Neset Bellikli on as he’s more of a winger and to try and get that extra goal.”

“Ade gives everything he’s got, works his socks off, doesn’t matter if he gets fouled as he picks himself up and gets on with it. He’s a pleasure to work with,” he added, in praise of the Dons forward who has netted eight times so far for Neal’s side this season.

Reeves sided with the performances of his players on this occasion, having been left frustrated without a fixture for a month prior to this Final Third Development League match.

“There were a couple of goals we conceded I wasn’t too happy with,” said the former Wimbledon centre-back. “We had a lot of young lads playing and it’s a learning curve for them. Some of them haven’t played for four weeks, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

“Normally with my teams I try to get them to play high-tempo and be in the faces of the opposition and we didn’t really do that against Luton. We were a couple of yards off them and that isn’t like my boys usually.”

“I gave them the benefit of the doubt this week,” he added on a cautionary note. “We play Luton again next week at home on Monday so if it happens again I won’t be so forgiving.”

Alan was pleased with the effort from midfielder Jason Stripp, captain of AFC Wimbledon under-18s during their FA Youth Cup run this season.

He ran his socks off and I made a point of telling him when he came off that he hadn’t played bad, he’d played really well, but I’ll give him a breather and he’ll be involved next time and at that stage in the game Alfie Egan had more chance of getting us a goal.” “I thought Jason did well in midfield.

The full interview with Alan Reeves, including his thoughts on coping with postponements, is now available to Dons Player subscribers.

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