Manager's update ahead of Bury on Saturday
Neal Ardley said he will check on the fitness of Dean Parrett ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup first round tie at Bury.
The midfielder missed the defeat to Bradford City due to illness, but he’s been back training this week and could still be involved at Gigg Lane. However, Neal indicated that Saturday is likely to come too soon for Darius Charles (thigh) and Dominic Poleon (groin).
Speaking during his Thursday team update for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “Dean has trained all week since Tuesday, but he was quite badly ill and had a week off. He lost a fair bit of weight and it does take a lot out of you. We will manage him with kid gloves. We don’t want to put him straight back into the hard sessions. We did fitness work on Tuesday, but it was Dean’s first day back so we did not involve him. We will nurse him back in, but I would like to think that we can get him up to speed and in contention for one of the two games coming up.”
When asked about the possibility of Charles and Poleon being back in for Saturday, Neal added: “They are doing functional work with Stuart Douglas and it’s just a case of getting them through it so that they don’t train and then pull-out, which is what happened last week. I think Saturday potentially comes too soon for them. They may train with Alan Reeves on Saturday and that may give them a chance of being involved on Tuesday.”
Sean Kelly is making good progress from his thigh injury, but Neal estimated that he is about 10 days away from returning to full training.
Neal stressed the importance of the FA Cup to him and the club as he prepares his side to take on Bury for a second time in less than three weeks.
“We have to try and be as strong as we can be for Saturday because we want to do well in the competition,” added Neal. “But at the same time we have to try and retain five players from Saturday for Tuesday’s game (Checkatrade Trophy match at Newport). At the same time we also want to give game-time to some of our fringe players and promising young players. It’s a balancing act because we don’t want to get the club fined for not fielding five players from Saturday’s game. With one or two tweaks here and there and a good run with injuries, we can freshen up a group of players who have played a lot of games.”
The full update from Neal Ardley is now available for Dons Player subscribers via the link above and an interview with James Shea is also on our premium channel.
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