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Simon sums up approach to pre-season double-header

Dons round off pre-season schedule with two away games

28 July 2017

Simon Bassey said that AFC Wimbledon will be looking to sharpen up their forward play in the final third before the big kick-off on 5 August.

The Dons travel to Aldershot Town tonight (7.30 pm kick-off), before rounding off pre-season with a game at Ebbsfleet United tomorrow (3.00 pm start).

Speaking to iFollow about the approach to these games and preparations for 2017/18, Simon said: "We will split the teams and get 90 minutes in for as many of the players as possible. The younger boys will get 90 minutes because it's important for their progression to get that at the right tempo. The last games of pre-season are always difficult because you've put five weeks of hard work in and you don't want to ruin it with players getting injured. We will try and approach the games with the right mentality. Obviously, we were disappointed to lose the other day (against Wycombe), but we had two wins before that. In every game we want to try and win.

"We spoke yesterday in a staff meeting about how we have approached the different games. We took the Watford game on and then we really tried to press against Burton. The other night we played some really good stuff and we were really pleased with aspects of the game, but we were disappointed with the defeat. We've not touched on as much with the forward players about their in-possession stuff. We have done a lot of work on their out of possession stuff, including pressing and patterns of play to get to the final third. We've still got eight days to really start nailing down that final third stuff."

Simon said that players added to the group this summer have fitted in seamlessly with the rest of the squad.

"When you sign players who you know, it really helps. We know about their personalities and they know how we work. Kwesi and Deji have fitted in like they had never been away. They are both bubbly characters, really good guys, and they have been seamless in their transition. Anyone who has spoken to Liam Trotter will know that he is bright, intelligent and polite. He will have no problems settling in – Jimmy and Robbo will help him – and he is a good friend of Callum's. George Long has come in and at 23 he is like a seasoned goalkeeper, which is a real credit to him."

Due to injuries, Simon confirmed yesterday that Lyle Taylor, Tom Soares, Jon Meades and Darius Charles will not feature in either game.

Dons fans can pay on the night for Aldershot and on the day at Ebbsfleet. Access our previous article for more details.

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