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Simon issues positive squad update ahead of Bradford game

Preview: Dons gear up for taking on promotion chasers

21 December 2017

By Chris Slavin

Simon Bassey said that players on the way back after injury will provide a boost to Wimbledon's squad for a hectic Christmas spell, which starts with a visit from promotion-chasers Bradford City on Saturday.

Speaking during an extensive update for iFollow, Simon said: "Kwesi got 60 minutes on Tuesday and he is still a little bit off it, but it's good to welcome a forward of his quality back into the group. We are a little bit light on numbers at that end of the pitch, so it's good to get Kwesi back. Hopefully he can keep coming off the bench and getting minutes to top up his fitness. Callum Kennedy and Anthony Hartigan also got minutes in as well.

"We have a busy period coming up when we are going to need everyone. It's been good to get game-time into them, so that when they are needed they can hit the ground running. Paul Robinson has picked up a little knock to his back, which was disappointing, but it's not too serious. He may miss Saturday, but hopefully we will have him back for the Christmas period.

"Dean Parrett is working really hard and showing great character. We are really pleased with Dean's progress and he is ahead of schedule. He is probably still a month away at least, but he is getting better every day."

Of course, Harry Forrester will miss out on Saturday with the attacking midfielder serving a one-match suspension for his sending off against Wigan.

Bradford's visit on Saturday comes almost five years since a particularly memorable win for AFC Wimbledon against the Bantams during the 2012/13 season. Gary Alexander's last minute winner earned a vital victory in the battle to stay up and Simon is encouraging Wimbledon supporters to really crank up the atmosphere in the same way that they did on that day.

Click on the link below for Simon's Christmas message to supporters.

Our first-team coach believes the players can take heart from the performance for 65 minutes of the Wigan game, before Harry Forrester's sending off.

"The squad are in reasonable nick in terms of injuries and players available," added Simon. "We ended up falling into the bottom four after last week's defeat, which was disappointing, but for a large part of the game we were really in it against the best team in the league. We were a real match for them for 65 minutes with 11 v 11 and a decision went against us for their first goal.

"They scored with Premier League quality strikes for the second and third, but we were disappointed with what led to those goals happening. We will take the positives from last week, dust ourselves down, and go again. We are all positive and looking forward to picking up some points pretty quickly over the Christmas period."

The full interview with Simon is on iFollow and watch out tomorrow for an interview with Kwesi Appiah.

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