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Preview: Wally expects robust challenge at Wycombe

Quotes from both managers ahead of League One match at Adams Park

21 December 2018

Wally Downes has called for his squad to show the steely edge that has been lacking this season at an in-form Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

The Wimbledon manager is expecting a 'robust' challenge from Gareth Ainsworth's side and he knows that the players have to prove they can be harder to beat.

Wimbledon will be facing a Wycombe full of confidence after a very good start to life in League One after promotion in 2017/18, but the Dons are likely to be roared on by a sizeable travelling support. Wally Downes was full of praise for the backing his players received at Charlton last week and he said it would mean a lot to reward them with an important result at Adams Park.

Below is a summary of quotes from both managers, plus stats, and a recap of previous matches:

Wally Downes:

"Charlton were on a great run last week and Wycombe are on the same kind of run. They drew last week, but prior to that they won four games on the run. It's going to be difficult there. They play a very robust sort of game so it may not be the prettiest, depending upon weather conditions, but certainly it will have all the heat of a local derby, that's for sure.

"To hear our fans out-singing the home fans, it happens at most clubs in that you go away and you really want to get behind them, but seeing our fans up there singing their hearts out was terrific. Wycombe is going to be tough because it's another derby, but it's a great game to have. If we go to Wycombe and get a result, then we are looking forward to the Christmas period at home. Six points there would be terrific if we could give the fans that.

"The way that the boys responded in the second-half against Rochdale was great and the reception Glyn and I got from the crowd was marvellous as well. I was pleased with the performance at Charlton because I felt that we played well under instruction. We could have been a little more proactive in getting the ball back, but perhaps me telling them about the shape and how important it is not to give goals away made us a little bit tentative in getting the ball back. I thought we played well, but we gave away two unnecessary goals of our own making really. I was pleased with how we performed, but I was not happy with the mistakes that we made.

"The training has gone really well since I joined, and it's been a pleasure to train with them for two weeks. The important thing in the position that we are in is first of all to become hard to beat."

Gareth Ainsworth

"Our performance levels have been brilliant and that is what I am all about. I've said to the boys that if they can give me that week in, week out then we will win more games than we lose and that is a great recipe to finish in a healthy position in the league. The run we've been on lately has been great but you are only as good as your last game and our next game is Wimbledon on Saturday, so we've got to make sure we keep those levels high and I'll be doing everything I can between now and then to ensure we are right on it.

"With players back in training and getting up to speed I am now looking forward to having a great squad to choose from against a Wimbledon side that are going to be very tough to beat. Wally Downes has now come in and we can see from the video that he has tried to make them more solid at the back and going forward they have got good players who will cause damage if you let them so we really have to be on it this weekend.

"Wimbledon are fighting for points and we want maintain the cushion we have for as long as we can, get these points on the board as quick as we can and maintain our League One status once again. The festive period is a really important time as it brings up a lot of games for us to possibly come out in January with a hatful of points or nothing and we want the former as it could make a huge impact on our season."

Team news

Mitch Pinnock is ruled out for one match after his red card at Charlton last week, but James Hanson (pictured) and Kwesi Appiah are likely to both be back in the squad after illness and injury respectively. Deji Oshilaja and Joe Pigott are both still ruled out. For Wycombe, Stephen Henderson will retain his place in goal after he extended his emergency loan with the club for a further seven days. Bayo Akinfenwa could be in contention to face his former club after completing a second week of full training. The game may come too soon though for former Dons defender Darius Charles and Matt Bloomfield is also likely to miss the clash.

Last time out

Gillingham 2-2 Wycombe
Charlton 2-0 AFC Wimbledon

Last league meeting

Wycombe Wanderers 1-2 AFC Wimbledon (2 April 2016)

An early Lyle Taylor strike was cancelled out by a goal from Michael Harriman just before the hour, but Taylor struck from the penalty spot in the 66th minute to win it for Wimbledon. Of course, the Dons went onto secure a League One play-off place and that memorable promotion at Wembley in May. Take a look at the highlights from that game by clicking on the link below.


This League One match is not all-ticket and you can pay on the day to get behind the Dons.

Ticket prices on the day are as follows:

  • Adults £22
  • Concessions (60 and over) £19
  • Young adults (19–25) £17
  • 18 and under £13
  • 12 and under free of charge.

Match Coverage

Our WDON team will be providing live coverage from Adams Park. This will be available by accessing our iFollow channel.

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