By Rob Cornell
Neil Cox feels the work that the management team have put in with striker Lyle Taylor is reaping its rewards again, ahead of the visit from Plymouth tomorrow.
Taylor scored his and the club's first Football League hat-trick against Rotherham and he's back on the goal trail, with the Green Army up next at The Cherry Red Records Stadium.
"Lyle sometimes needs an arm round him and sometimes needs a good telling off," said Neil in an interview to our premium iFollow Dons channel. "I think he has done really well. He's played on the wide of a front three and he's got his opportunity of playing down the middle and he took his goals well.
"Some players need to be told off and some need an arm around them – that's for the staff to learn who that is suitable for."
The relationship between management and player paid off at Wembley in 2016 when Taylor scored in the Play-Off Final against Saturday's visitors to help clinch promotion.
"We try and bring in players who are going to fit in with the work ethic of the team. It's not about individuals at this football club, it's all about the team. Lyle has settled down, got his head right, and works really hard for the team.
"The other night he got his deserved rewards, got his hat-trick, and not only got his goals, but worked really hard. That's the main reason why we get players in.
"We haven't got bundles of money to spend or the biggest budget in the world, but we work on players coming in and working hard for each other and getting a good team spirit and that's what we have at the moment."
Neil feels the squad will continue to benefit from a much improved playing surface this season and echoed his striker's views for Wimbledon's first goal against Rotherham.
"The ball in from Tom Soares to Andy Barcham was perfect and then it was a great ball in from Barchy to Lyle. Last season the pitch would have been too bobbly to chip it through. To give credit, the pitch is magnificent.
"It's not only good for us, it's good for other teams –that's what Rotherham said the other night. Our boys look forward to playing on it, which is a massive bonus.
Interviews with Neil Cox and Liam Trotter are available to subscribers of our premium iFollow Dons channel.