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Preview: Neil on the challenge for Dons at Rovers

Quotes from both managers ahead of the game

17 November 2017

Neil Cox said that the players are determined to start climbing the League One table, as the Dons gear up for a tough challenge at Bristol Rovers.

AFC Wimbledon will be aiming for a change of fortunes at a venue where the Dons have struggled in recent years, but tomorrow’s opponents are not in the best of form heading into this match.

Darrell Clarke, who has led Rovers to two promotions, talked about perhaps setting his expectations too high for this season after his side slipped down to 15th place.

Just five points separate the two sides heading into tomorrow’s game.


Neil Cox:

“They are on a bit of a bad run, but they are a good side with a good manager. It’s always a good atmosphere there, the fans always get behind their team. We’ve not had too many good results there, though we have produced one or two good performances. That’s what we’re focusing on. If you get good performances, you will get good results.

“We have to do our jobs in the games coming up and we are focused on how we are going to deal with it. It is going to be hard with a busy spell coming up, but the boys are looking forward to kicking on and moving up the table. The mood is very good at the moment.”

Darrell Clarke

“I’ve probably given my players unrealistic expectations, if I’m honest, but I will always set the bar high. That will always be the case while I’m manager. What do you want to achieve as a player? I want to achieve great things as a manager and I want my players to achieve great things on the pitch. I keep telling them that they are only as good as the last game. You have to rise to the challenge, otherwise players and managers fall by the wayside. It’s a volatile industry and the players have to be performing where I think they should be. I think we’ve slightly under-achieved.

“They (Wimbledon) beat Blackburn 1-0. Let’s not paper over the cracks about how hard it is to win football games in this league. It’s very difficult. Other teams will go through the runs we are having. Wimbledon are another team who will beat you, if you are not at it on the day.”

Team news  

Jimmy Abdou is back in the squad after returning from international duty with Comoros, but George Francomb serves a one-match suspension for picking up five bookings. Will Nightingale was due to be assessed today after his return to full training. For Bristol Rovers, Billy Bodin has stepped up his recuperation after a hamstring injury and he is a possibility to return to the squad, but James Clarke is still on the long-term injury list.

Form (last six in all competitions)

Wimbledon DWLLLW

Bristol Rovers LLLLWL

Last meeting

AFC Wimbledon 0-1 Bristol Rovers (8 April 2017)


Dons supporters can pay on the day or in advance. For more details about how to buy your ticket, access our previous article.

Live coverage

iFollow subscribers can listen to WDON commentary from the Memorial Stadium and overseas subscribers can watch a live stream of the game. Visit our iFollow section on the official website for more details.

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