By Rob Cornell
George Francomb knows Wimbledon face another tough South London derby on Sunday, but he feels the Dons are capable of extending this season’s Emirates FA Cup run.
“It’s a one-off game against Charlton at the end of the day,” said George in an interview with our premium iFollow Dons channel. “They are higher than us in the league and they are doing well, but the game we played at The Valley in the league against them recently was in the balance that day. It was a free-kick from Ricky Holmes that ended up earning them the points.”
A clip of the extensive interview with our long-serving midfielder is available below, via a link to our official club YouTube channel below.
Versatile George has been called upon to play in a different position for the Dons this season at left-back. He’s well aware of the threat League One rivals Charlton pose to the Dons’ Cup ambitions, if they are to make further progress this season.
“It’s not just Ricky Holmes or Josh Magennis, but I think they’ve got quite a few other good players too. I played with Mark Marshall a few years ago and he’s a really sharp player. All over the pitch they are a pretty good side and it shows where they are in the league. We know we’re in for a tough game, but I’m sure it’s going to be a good atmosphere at home.
“I know it’s hard for the fans, where we haven’t quite been getting the results especially at home, but I’m sure they’ll be there backing us with it being an FA Cup game and a London derby. There’s going to be good energy around the place and hopefully we repay them with the victory and going into the third round.”
George, along with skipper Barry Fuller, Callum Kennedy and substitute ‘keeper Joe McDonnell, are the only survivors from that memorable night when Wimbledon bowed out to Liverpool almost three years ago. The right-sided player feels that appetite to create more great memories is strong within the current squad.
“The FA Cup is such a special cup. There are special ties to be had out there and we could end up playing more games like against Liverpool, or an away game against another one of the big clubs. I think any player, especially in League One and Two, wants to progress further and get the big ties.”
George also took a moment to reflect on a special achievement before Sunday’s FA Cup battle, having achieved a personal landmark last Saturday by reaching 200 appearances for Wimbledon.
“It’s been a brilliant five years. There are always ups and downs in football – we’ve been on a slight down recently, but I’m sure we’ll be back up in no time.
“It’s just been a really good time for me and I’ve enjoyed working with everyone at the club – the gaffer, and all the lads who have come and gone in the last five years. There’s always been a really good group of players. Hopefully I’ll be here for another hundred and try and get to 300 appearances next.
“The longer you stay at a club, it means more to you the longer you are there. I’ve always been aware of the story and I think that everyone outside the club in football is aware too. It’s just been really good.”
George suffered promotion play-off heartbreak when he missed out on the Dons big day at Wembley last year due to injury, but he’s clear about who he’d want to face should Wimbledon make it to round three.
“Tottenham away in the third round would be brilliant, seeing as I did miss the Play-Off final at Wembley. It would be what dreams are made of, being a Spurs fan myself and having been on their books, but we have to get the job done on Sunday first.”
The full interview with George Francomb and the pre-match thoughts of assistant manager Neil Cox, ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup second round tie against Charlton Athletic, are available on our iFollow Dons channel.