Wally Downes is under no illusions about the size of the task Wimbledon face at Charlton Athletic on Saturday and he has called for a repeat of the commitment shown in the second-half against Rochdale.
Wimbledon's record against the Addicks is very good with just one loss in the last six meetings, but the Dons will tomorrow come up against a Charlton side mounting their best bid for automatic promotion in recent years after beating League One leaders Portsmouth on Tuesday night.
Of course, Dons favourite Lyle Taylor is now plying his trade at Charlton and he scored the winner back in April when the two teams last met. Though Lyle picked up a knock in Charlton's win on Tuesday, he is expected to feature at The Valley.
The picture above shows Anthony Hartigan receiving congratulations from Rod McDonald after his goal in the Checkatrade Trophy at The Valley earlier in the season.
Below are quotes from both managers, plus stats, and a recap of past meetings:
"If our players show the application that they did on Saturday we can certainly meet the challenge. I went along and watched Charlton play on Tuesday and it was a very good performance. They must have had a terrific month prior to this one as I know their manager got the Manager of the Month award and they are near to the top of the table. They hit Portsmouth with two goals on the break and then defended superbly in the second-half, getting their bodies in the way. It was a real high-class game for League One, so I'm under no illusions that we will have to go there and be bang at it from the get-go.
"Our place is always sold out because the season tickets are sold out. Perhaps there could have been a disconnect during that poor run, but we'd like to think we gave them good cause to be supportive. The fans were really behind the players on Saturday and when you go to an away game like this you want to make more noise than you normally do. I know there are 150 of our fans going on a boat and I'm sure our supporters will make enough noise at the game for the boys, who will certainly be putting the effort in for them."
"That (on Tuesday) was the best win we've had. Portsmouth are a good side, are top of the league and I think they had won eight on the spin before that. Everyone was outstanding on the night, people came off the bench and Nicky nicked himself a goal – he obviously likes playing there - so as a whole from back to front we were outstanding.
"I was over the moon and the togetherness the lads showed was great to watch. It was great to see on sidelines and for the fans too; for them to see their lads giving 100 per cent and putting their bodies on the line.
"There is a long way to go and I wouldn't say they (Wimbledon) are fighting for survival because we aren't even half-way through the season. I'm sure they aren't where they want to be but they have got a new manager, which will open the door for players who may have not been in the team before.
"I know the new manager will get them motivated. I watched their game against Rochdale on Saturday and they were all committed and it is going to be tough and physical. We have to do what we do and we will respect them like we do every team we play. We're at home and I'm expecting our fans to be singing like they always do to get us going. My job is to make sure that we are physically ready for the game."
Wally Downes was set to check on the fitness of James Hanson (illness), but Joe Pigott (thigh) and Deji Oshilaja (ankle) are both ruled out.
Charlton have doubts over Lyle Taylor, Krystian Bielik and Mark Marshall, who all picked up impact injuries at Portsmouth on Tuesday night. Karlan Grant is also a doubt with a hamstring injury. Darren Pratley and Lewis Page remain sidelined with knee and hip problems respectively, and Josh Cullen and Igor Vetokele are also out with shoulder injuries. Jamie Ward is still out, as is long-term absentee Jake Forster-Caskey.
Last time out
Portsmouth 1-2 Charlton
AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Rochdale
Charlton 2-2 AFC Wimbledon (4 September 2018)
In an entertaining Checktrade Trophy group match, goals from Anthony Hartigan and Tom Soares were evened up by the hosts through Naby Sarr and Jamie Mascoll. However, Wimbledon won 4-2 on penalties to secure an extra point in the competition.
The Dons played against Charlton three times last season and below is a summary of those previous matches:
AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Charlton (10 April 2018)
Lyle Taylor scored the only goal of the game on a night that proved pivotal to Wimbledon's survival hopes. Roared on by a vociferous home crowd under the lights, the Dons produced a resilient display to earn a narrow victory against a Charlton side beaten in the semi-final of the play-offs.
AFC Wimbledon 3-1 Charlton (3 December 2017)
Though Cody McDonald opened the scoring early on for Wimbledon in this Emirates FA Cup second round tie, Karlan Ahearne-Grant levelled matters for the visitors in the 22nd minute. However, Lyle Taylor struck a double, both in the last 20 minutes, to set-up a third round match at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur.
Charlton 1-0 AFC Wimbledon (20 October 2017)
A 78th minute free-kick from Ricky Holmes proved to be the difference between the two teams at The Valley. In a game of few chances, Holmes struck from an acute angle to win it for Charlton.
Wimbledon supporters who have bought tickets in advance can collect from the away ticket office, which is located at the South Stand.
Dons supporters can pay on the day (cash only at the same place as above).
Prices are as follows:
- Adults £24
- Concessions (over 65 and under 21) £20
- Students and Under-18s £10
- Under-11s £5.
Our WDON team will be providing live coverage from The Valley. This will be available by accessing our iFollow channel.