The latest ahead of Saturday's game
Neal Ardley will check on the fitness of striker Tom Elliott before selecting his squad for Morecambe on Saturday.
The striker is rated a “50-50” chance to make the frame after having to be withdrawn due to a hamstring injury in Tuesday night’s 3-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
George Francomb has shaken off a dead leg and is available to return to the squad, but Connor Smith (thigh) is definitely ruled out.
Speaking at the training ground today, Neal Ardley said: “George trained today and came through it so he will hopefully be back in the squad. Connor has gone for a scan today so we don’t yet know the extent of his injury. He will not be available for Saturday though. Tom Elliott is ’50-50’ to make it. With muscle injuries, you have to look at the risk and reward. If you take a risk and get away with it that’s brilliant, but you could end up losing a player for the next six games.”
, Neal revealed that he is edging closer to strengthening his squad for the run-in. The extensive interview with WDON’s Rob Cornell is now on our premium channel.Dons PlayerDuring his Thursday update for
Despite Wimbledon’s play-off hopes suffering a blow at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday, Neal believes the squad can take encouragement from recent performances against the League 2 elite.
“A while back we won seven out of eight and got ourselves into a great position,” added Neal. “Now we have lost two out of four, but if you look at the performances against Oxford, Northampton and certainly the other night, they have been decent. We have been punished by the top teams to a degree when we’ve not got things right. Maybe that’s the difference, but I want the players to believe they can beat the top teams.
“We are certainly out-performing these teams in the stats, but we just need to tidy up at both ends of the pitch and the players will do that. We are more than capable of getting what we need, regardless of Saturday’s result, and we go there in good spirits.”
Neal believes that seventh spot and the final League 2 play-off place is going to turn into a real battle. Though Morecambe are not one of the sides in contention, their 5-2 win in the corresponding fixture showed what they are capable of and Neal is full of admiration for manager Jim Bentley.
“I think the teams sixth and above would have to go on a really bad run not to get there,” added Neal. “It could be that six or seven teams are fighting for the one spot – that’s how tight it is. We need to enjoy it is as staff, players and fans. We are in a great position, certainly better than when we were looking the other way.
“Jim has had a bit of a sticky spell lately. Morecambe always seem to come out of the blocks at the start of the season and they gave us a bit of a counter-attacking show at our place. Their finishing was outstanding on the day. Sometimes momentum swings and you have to pick the boys up, but every year Jim has done an amazing job. He is certainly one of the consistently best managers in the league. He will get them right. I like what he is and what he stands for. I will be absolutely willing him to get it right, but only after Saturday and we will give it our best shot.”