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Fitness check on Barcham

16 January 2017

Team news ahead of Sutton game

Andy Barcham today returned to training after shrugging off a hamstring injury, but Neal Ardley will make an assessment tomorrow about his possible inclusion for the FA Cup replay against Sutton United.

Barcham (pictured) missed the 2-1 win against Oxford on Saturday and so too did Jon Meades (ankle) and George Francomb (illness).

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “We have to look at them all again tomorrow as to whether they have improved enough or not. ‘Barchy’ trained today and if he has come through it okay, we might consider bringing him back into the fold. George was ill and we will make a judgement call on him tomorrow. From the squad on Saturday, we’ve not had anything extra happen so we are confident we can go into it with a decent team.

“We go into this on the back of a really good performance and three points. That’s really important because it takes us into it in good spirits. Obviously, we know how big the cup tie is; it is big for our season and big for the club. The boys are desperate to get into the next round.”

Tom Beere is doubtful as he was withdrawn in the warm-up to Saturday’s game against Oxford due to a back injury, Dan Gallagher taking his place on the bench.

Another young player Alfie Egan made a good impression in Saturday’s game as a late substitute and Neal added that the Dons academy product may be in line for a start soon.

“I don’t think we are going to be able to use 12-14 players in the next two months and we may need 16-18,” said Neal. “We’ve talked to all the players about how they need to train and prepare well, whether they are playing or not. Alfie has been a leading light in that. He always trains well, but he came on for the last 15 minutes of a difficult game on Saturday and put in an excellent performance.

“He is not just going to be needed off the bench, he may be needed to start games going forward. We always try to treat them with kid gloves and drip-feed them in so that they get the experience. That is what Alfie’s pathway has been so far this season, but it might come to a time when there is no choice but to let him loose.”

  , along with an interview with Chris Whelpdale about his return to the first-team squad after injury.Dons PlayerThe full update from Neal Ardley is now on 

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