Defender on facing Accrington Stanley again
Darius Charles will have a far different priority tomorrow than the last time he faced Accrington Stanley in a play-off semi-final.
Back in 2011, Charles was deployed in a striker role and he helped set-up a vital goal to help Stevenage through, but this time his mind will be focused on stopping an Accrington Stanley side he rates very highly.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, the experienced defender said: “Both legs against Accrington back then were tough games. Accrington are a great side and they have a good footballing philosophy. It will be a tough game against them again and may the best team win. I played up front back then. I knocked the ball down for Joel Byrom, who put it in the back of the net.
“I can tell you how important the squad is from previous experience with Stevenage. When we went to Accrington the manager took the whole squad, even lads who were not fit or selected. It’s not just about the 11 on the pitch, it’s about the 18 in the squad and the three or four also not picked. Every person is as important as the next for the team spirit. From the start when I first came here I could tell there was a really good team spirit. It’s a real tight-knit group.”
Darius has helped forge a solid defensive unit since his arrival on loan from Burton Albion and he believes the Dons go into the play-offs with real characters leading the way.
“Experience is something you cannot buy,” added Darius. “We’ve got players who have been in this situation before and that know-how will help going into the play-offs. I’ve been fortunate to play with Barry Fuller, Paul Robinson, Jon Meades, Callum Kennedy and Kelle Roos. Barry is the captain because he is a phenomenal leader and so too is ‘Robbo’. Individually and as a group there is a real spirit in the team. They are a massive part of why we are doing so well.”
The full interview with Darius Charles is on Dons Player, along with Neal Ardley’s update ahead of the semi-final.