Liam Trotter has revealed that the retirement of Jon Meades gave Wimbledon extra resolve in the dressing room to push on this season.
Our experienced midfielder was speaking ahead of tonight’s game against Walsall, a match when the former Dons left-back will be presented to the crowd before kick-off.
“We all came together a little bit more after that and Meadesy did a good job of letting everyone know he’s going to be okay,” said Liam. "I think that seeing his resolve kind of gave everyone a little bit more resolve. We’ll go out there and do our best to put on a very good performance. If we can get the win it would be great so then we can dedicate that to Jon, but it’s about the performance for us.
“It was a huge shock, no one saw that coming. No one was expecting him to have to retire through his injuries, so it’s extremely sad. It hit the group hard, because everybody felt for him because he’s a team mate. We realised it wasn’t something that was planned; it was something that was forced upon him which is never nice.
“It’ll be a good game. I’m sure they’ll want to get one over on us after our 3-2 victory at their place last season. That was a huge game, it was probably the game which ultimately kept us safe, 2-0 down at half time and we managed to turn it around. It was a great feeling that day and taken us a while to come back from being behind, so we’d timed it just right! It’s a new season, they’ve got new players, we’ve got new players, we’re both in different positions in the league right now as the season has just started, so it’s just an opportunity for us to go and put in another performance.”
Liam is thriving in his new role of not just midfield general for Wimbledon, but also with the added extra-responsibility of vice-captain which has seen the Dons remain unbeaten so far this season.
“I’m very proud to be made vice-captain,” said Liam, “It’s a privilege to be part of this team, let alone vice-captain. I’m especially proud to be named vice-captain to Deji. I’m close to him, he’s a good friend, a good team mate and a good leader and I’m really happy for him that he’s been made captain. I’ll try and help him in any way that I can.
“The reason the manager has given him the captaincy is because he believes he can take that on and grow with it, rather than be pushed down by it. I’d say he’s going to grow into the role as the season goes on. He’s getting more mature, he’s growing as a player, growing in age and off the field as a father. Deji is growing as a man and hopefully that will benefit us."
Wimbledon fans have grown to appreciate the work of Liam and midfield colleague Tom Soares for their contributions to the team’s recent form.
“It’s not something we think about too much, we’re part of a team,” said Liam modestly. “Everybody plays a part, obviously if you score goals it will get you noticed more by people on the outside, but ultimately it’s about being noticed by your team mates and recognition from your manager. We’re all just trying to work for each other, work hard, create performances and get results.”
The full, in-depth interview with Liam Trotter is available to subscribers on our iFollow Dons video platform.