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Jon expects close battle

1 March 2016

Rejuvenated left-back on tonight's tough test

Jon Meades says he will relish the challenge of taking on League 2 leaders Northampton Town tonight after a fine first season back at AFC Wimbledon.

The 23-year-old full-back has been a pivotal force in Wimbledon’s play-off tilt as he has made 33 appearances in all competitions so far. Despite defeat to Oxford on Saturday, Meades told Dons Player that belief is still strong in the squad, ahead of tonight’s tough test.

“I don’t think there’s any reason for us to fear any team in this league,” Meades told WDON’s Rob Cornell. “On our day we are as good as anyone and all the boys will go there to try and get three points. We are definitely not going there for a draw. We just need to keep this momentum going. There are 14 games left and we’ve a points tally to try and reach.

“We put in a really good performance on Saturday. The result was not what we wanted, but if you look at the performance we were really unlucky. We had so many chances, especially in the first-half. It just did not fall for us in the end, but we cannot be too disappointed about that. We go to Northampton still full of confidence, even though we lost. We’ve won seven out of nine games and if we carry on our form until the end of the season we will be right up there.”

Having played for Northampton manager Chris Wilder at Oxford United, Meades has a fair idea what the Dons will come up against tonight.

“He likes his teams to play on the front foot,” added Meades. “They will play some nice football, but they don’t pass it around too much at the back. They want to get it forward and play at a high-tempo – similar to ourselves really. I think we will match-up quite similar, but hopefully we can get the better of them on the day. It will be a good game.

“They have a lot of good players and they will be full of confidence as well. If we can go there and put in a performance like we did against Oxford with a little bit more luck, we can get a result.”

Following a two-year spell at Oxford United that included just seven first-team appearances, Meades has been rejuvenated by a permanent move to the Dons – and he’s delighted with the way it has worked out.

“I am really settled,” added Meades. “To be honest it did not take me long to get back into the swing of things. Even in the first couple of weeks of pre-season I knew that I was in a good place. I felt fit again and I’m just really happy to have played so many games since. There are a few areas that I still want to improve in and if can do that it will be great.

“I am happy playing full-back because I needed to nail down a position. I’ve done that this season now and I want to continue in that position moving forward. Obviously, if there are injuries in the squad I would be happy to play in midfield. Full-back is my position now though and I want to keep getting experience there.”

Interviews with Jon Meades and Neal Ardley featured on Dons Player yesterday and WDON commentary from Northampton will be on our premium channel tonight.

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