Dons Player update from Neil Cox
AFC Wimbledon will have to do without suspended midfielder Dean Parrett for tomorrow night’s match at Millwall, but assistant manager Neil Cox is confident that the Dons have a good enough squad to cope.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neil also confirmed that it’s too soon for Darius Charles (thigh) and Andy Barcham (hamstring) to return. Left-back Sean Kelly is back in full training, but he is not ready for a first-team return.
“Darius will probably be back in training next week and Sean is back in training, but he’s been out for a number of weeks,” said Neil. “Andy is going to be out for a while. We have difficult decisions to make because one or two players could be left out or rested so we may be chopping and changing again. The boys who played on Saturday have been recovering and the other boys have done a bit of training today. We will see tomorrow what we are going to go with.
“Dean has had his fifth booking so we will miss him. That is a shame because in the last three games he has been doing a really good job for the team, but when you look at our squad they are all vying for places. We have two or three who can go into that position and we can change formations. When we’ve got good players out we have others who can come in and replace them.
“The manager wanted to build a good squad this season. If you are going to do well in this league you need a good squad of 18 or 19 players, not just a good 11. If we can also get one or two of the Under 21s to come through too then that’s also a bonus.
“Our development squad under Alan Reeves like to get it forward and play in a similar way to our first-team. We want our full-backs to defend properly and stop crosses and that is what Seth did. He’s been doing that for the Under-21s and that’s what he did for the first-team. Hopefully, a lot of our other Under-21 boys will have been watching his performance and thinking they could be next.”
When Wimbledon last made a trip to The Den in 2013/14, it was a cup game with the Dons in League 2 and Millwall in the Championship. Since then, the Dons have really pushed on and Neil is proud of the progress made during that time.
“I think a lot of credit has to go to our club for how we’ve stepped up since,” added Neil. “I remember when we last played them we did not get started and showed them too much respect. Tomorrow is a bit different because we are on the same level and in a good run of form. We have to make sure we are organised and we are ready to go because it’s going to be a difficult game. Their fans really get behind them and we need to quieten the crowd. It’s a lovely playing surface though and they’ve got a great stadium for our fans to go to again. I think it will be a good night out.”
.Dons PlayerThe full update from Neil Cox and an interview with Tom Beere are both on