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Dons focus on Dale test

27 March 2017

Team news from Simon Bassey ahead of Tuesday night

Dannie Bulman may be available for AFC Wimbledon tomorrow night against Rochdale, while he still prepares to welcome the latest addition to his family.

The hard-working midfielder missed Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Southend United as he is on the verge of becoming a father again, but Coach Simon Bassey explained in an interview to Dons Player that Bulman could be involved on the pitch on Tuesday rather than waiting room.

“Dannie was given the weekend to be with his partner, while they have the baby,” said Bassey. “They haven’t had it as yet, but he came in today and he is available for the squad for tomorrow – although that may change!”

“He’ll be back in the squad and he might figure, but if not he’ll just drop out of the squad and we’ll go with what we had on Saturday.”

Bassey also provided an update on Chris Whelpdale, who supplied the ball for Andy Barcham’s opening goal in the 1-1 draw at Spotland against Rochdale back in August of last year.

“Whelps trained with fitness coach Jason Moriarty today, so he should hopefully be back in contention in a week or so.”

Rochdale arrive at The Cherry Red Records Stadium in eighth position in the League One table and Keith Hill’s side are six points adrift of Southend – in the last play-off place – but with a game in hand.

Dons boss Neal Ardley is keen to see a positive response from his side after a performance lacking in many areas at the weekend.

“Second-half we were well beaten,” said Bassey as he reflected on the game against the Shrimpers. “First-half I thought there was not a lot in the game and we got ourselves into some good areas, without actually having the final ball or final bit of quality to make the good play count.”

“Second-half, Southend were bigger and stronger and I think the gaffer has alluded to it that they were more dynamic than us and you can see why they are a strong team in this league.”

“We sent them away to lick their wounds and they’ve come back in today in good spirits. They’re a good group and they do work hard and they do care and put the effort in. It was a bad 45 minutes on Saturday and we have to put it right looking forward to tomorrow,” he added.

“Rochdale are a good side and Keith Hill has done a fantastic job there, so we know what sort of game it will be. The staff do a lot of analysis on Rochdale and what’s to come and we relay that to the players at pre-match tomorrow.”

“They’re open and they pass it on their pitch and their rotation is good. To be fair, they were strong in the second-half up there and we dug in and with a last-minute mistake they probably got what they deserved.”

“They are flexible in how they play under Keith Hill. They change systems quite regularly, but we’ve looked at their game so we know what to expect from them and it’s a home game on our pitch and we hope to be in good shape for it.”

“We’ll be there, we’ll be focused and we’ll be going for the three points.”

The full interview with Simon Bassey is now available to Dons Player subscribers, along with the views of AFC Wimbledon left-back Sean Kelly, ahead of the match against Rochdale.


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