An update from Neil Cox ahead of Newport
Neil Cox today confirmed that striker Dominic Poleon will be back in the squad for tomorrow night’s Checkatrade Trophy tie at Newport County.
Poleon has been missing from the squad in recent weeks due to a groin injury, but he is likely to be handed valuable game-time at Rodney Parade tomorrow night. However, the match will come too soon for Darius Charles (thigh) to return.
With several players having impressed for the development squad in recent weeks, Neil also added that youngsters will get a chance to be a part of the first-team squad tomorrow.
During an interview for Dons Player, Neil updated us with team news ahead of the game against Graham Westley’s side.
“Darius will probably train tomorrow with some of the other lads and he might be available to come back into the group on Thursday,” said Neil. “Dom Poleon will come back into the squad tomorrow and we will see if he gets a run-out. We had a meeting with the players this morning just to explain how many games we have coming up and that everyone will be needed. Players will need to be rested for games and it will give others a chance, but looking at the squad we have 18 or 19 fit players and they are all raring to go. They can play in different positions and we can change formations so I think we will be fine.
“The boys who played on Saturday had a warm-up this morning and we trained with the rest of them. It was good because Alan Reeves’ Under-21 boys trained with us and they know they might get a chance to play tomorrow. They want to get into the first-team squad and it was a brilliant training session this morning with all the young lads really stepping up to the mark.”
Apart from the financial carrot of guaranteeing top spot in Southern Group B with at least a point at Newport – the Dons are already certain of a place in the last-32 – Neil hopes it will provide further evidence that young players can stake a claim.
“You can see what a fantastic job Alan Reeves is doing working with the young lads,” added Neil. “He is getting them playing like first-teamers; he gets them fit, organised and they know their jobs. When they come into the first-team they don’t look out of place. Alfie Egan has come in and played well and Tom Beere did well again on Saturday. I think Will Nightingale has done ever so well this season. He was disappointed last year to get injured, but he looks fit and strong now.
“Once Darius comes back we will have four centre halves and we will not know what the strongest pairing is. We will have four centre backs vying for two positions. They’ve all been doing well when they’ve played, but we will also need all our all midfielders and forwards fit during the next month.”The full update from Neil Cox is now on Dons Player and an interview with Tyrone Barnett is also on our premium channel.