By Rob Cornell
Will Nightingale has called on everyone to play their part in AFC Wimbledon’s bid for League One survival, ahead of a big South London derby tomorrow night against Charlton.
“The supporters have been brilliant and having come through the ranks I can’t tell you how good the support has been for me,” said Will. “We all want the same thing, we’ve all got the same goal – no one wants to go down. We were gutted we didn’t take all three points against Scunthorpe, but we’ve all just got to stick together.
“If everyone can do the best that they can do, then we’ve just got to create that positive energy around the place, and give as much encouragement as possible. We appreciate it.”
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The centre-back was influential in creating a positive atmosphere around the ground on Saturday, with a powerful header early on that gave Wimbledon the lead, in the 1-1 draw with play-off chasing Scunthorpe. It was also his first senior goal for the club.
“I thought against Scunthorpe the fans were brilliant,” added Will. “They got behind us and it goes to show the difference they can make. I feel like there’s enough heart, within us, to stay up. I know there is from my point of view and I’m sure there is from all the other players as well. I know there is from the gaffer because he probably cares more than anyone really.”
While Will admits he is still learning his trade under Neal Ardley, the Academy product yet again earned more plaudits for his display at the weekend with another inclusion in the Football League Paper Team of the Day.
“Behind closed doors the players and coaches are doing what they can. We’re all working hard trying to learn as much as possible as no-one is the finished article.
“It s about fine margins and we’re not getting the right end of them at the minute. It’s costing us and we know we’re in trouble, but it’s about how we react now. We’ve all got to stand up, roll our sleeves up, and be counted.
Will knows the Dons face a stern test of their League One credentials tomorrow night as the Addicks have been revitalised for their own push for a play-off place under the new management of Lee Bowyer, but it’s a challenge he is relishing.
“We have to go into every game now like it’s our last battle and go in wanting that win, knowing that we can get it because we’re definitely good enough. We have to react after the draw against Scunthorpe, take the positives, listen to the coaches, train hard and be ready for Charlton.”