Preview: Left-back on facing Accrington again
Callum Kennedy says he aims to enjoy the pressure of playing in the play-offs as such moments do not come around often in a player’s career.
The 26-year-old was at Swindon when they won a play-off semi-final six years ago, but he did not feature as he was only just coming back from injury.
It’s completely different now as Kennedy is right in the thick of it, the left-back’s performances having earned praise from Neal Ardley after the injury to Jon Meades.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Callum said: “Although it’s high pressure and we want to do the club, the fans and ourselves proud, we have to try and enjoy it. It just goes so quickly. We were waiting for the other night, but then it comes and goes in the blink of an eye.
“That’s gone now, we move onto Wednesday, and we have to try and enjoy these moments. You don’t know how often moments like these are going to come around. The fans know that we will put our all into it. The manager is very big on us expressing ourselves and enjoying working hard and that’s what we have to do.
“It was an amazing night when I was at Swindon and we went through at Charlton. Of course, there was a celebration because we got to Wembley, but unfortunately we lost. It’s an experience that you don’t want to go through again in the sense of losing, but as the feeling subsides you look back on it with fond memories. It was a good experience you can draw a little bit from. It was interesting for me to see the first-teamers at that time and how they dealt with high-pressure situations. They were good times.”
Two years later, Callum experienced promotion as he was an integral part of the Swindon side who won the League 2 title under Paulo Di Canio.
Since joining Wimbledon three years ago after leaving Scunthorpe United, Callum has experienced his fair share of ups and downs – he re-signed for the club in 2014 after initially being released – but he has grabbed his latest opportunity with both hands.
“I’ve always been fairly confident within myself of where I was going to be and sometimes it’s about going back to the drawing board and putting a few things right,” added Callum. “It’s just having the mentality of tying to work harder every day than I have in the past and I’m a firm believer that you get out of it what you put in.
“If we got to Wembley it would be amazing, but that’s not what we are thinking about. We are concerned with Wednesday night and trying to get the job done. We know we are in for a battle because they are a very good team. It’s nowhere near done and it is time to get to work.”
The full nine-minute interview with Callum is now on Dons Player, along with Neal Ardley’s update ahead of the second leg.