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Darius motivated by ‘fierce battle’ in front of a bumper crowd

Interview with experienced defender ahead of important match against Oldham

20 April 2018

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By Chris Slavin

Darius Charles feels ready to produce his best for the Dons after recovering from injury and he is relishing the prospect of another key battle in Wimbledon’s fight to stay up.

Speaking to iFollow about the challenge facing Neal Ardley’s men against Oldham tomorrow, Darius said: “We are expecting a fierce battle: we are obviously fighting for our lives, just like they are. I think what the fans will see this weekend is such a ferocious intensity in our play that I don’t think they will be able to live with us.

“Every game is a massive game, but this is extremely important. This one will really give us a chance to put some space between us and the teams below us. Having a sell-out crowd would be fantastic for us. We obviously really appreciate the fans and love their support. The louder they are the better for us.

“I feel good. Obviously, I’ve only just come back from the hip injury. I’m still not 100 per cent, but there’s still more for me to give and show. Training has been very intensive recently and I think it has been shown in our last four or five performances.”

See below for a clip of the interview with Darius that features on our iFollow channel.

With Saturday’s game designated as AFC Wimbledon Foundation Day, Darius spoke about what it meant to represent a club owned by its fans.

“A football club is its community, which is the volunteers, the fans, players, staff and everyone involved with the club,” said Darius. “You want to bring young kids into football. It (the club ethos) is one of the things I enjoy most because I like coming to a club with a small, tight-knit community, where you can see it’s all hands-on deck. You can really see the people who care about the club and it makes you show the club more respect as a player.”

Darius has formed a solid centre-back partnership with Deji Oshilaja when they’ve been paired together and he believes they are a good defensive combination.

“Deji is younger than me and he is a great talent, on and off the ball,” added Darius. “I like to think that he appreciates playing alongside me and I offer a lot of experience and wisdom. It’s an absolute pleasure to play alongside him.”

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