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Team news: Dons defender Darius rated 50/50 to face Blackburn

Neil Cox with the latest from the Dons camp ahead of a visit from the leaders

26 February 2018

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Will Nightingale has stepped up his return to fitness from a knee injury, but tomorrow night’s game against leaders Blackburn will come too soon for the centre-back.

“The good news is that Will has trained again today,” said Assistant Manager Neil Cox in an update with our premium iFollowDons subscription channel.

“He trained with Alan Reeves (Development Coach) at the weekend too. Hopefully he has a week’s training and he can get back in the squad. We’ve missed Will all season really. He’s come in and played a few games and missed a few and we need him to be fit until the end of the season now.”

Midfielder Dean Parrett is back in contention for Tuesday night’s game under the lights at The Cherry Red Records Stadium. The former Spurs youngster clocked up more game time as a second-half substitute in the draw at Peterborough, as he completes his recovery from a hernia injury.

“Deano got on Saturday and did his job for the team, which we needed him to do. He’s getting fitter and stronger and he comes into the squad. Harry Forrester has done really well over the last couple of games, so players are fighting for positions now, and that’s good as we’re coming to the last twelve games of the season and people are pushing each other.”

Defender Darius Charles had to miss the draw at the weekend, and Neil isn’t certain that he’ll be available to face Tony Mowbray’s side.

“I’m not sure that Darius is going to be fit for the game, he’s probably 50/50. Barry Fuller switched positions on Saturday and did a really good job down the middle of the park as a centre-half and George Francomb filled in at right-back.

“We’ll just get organised and we know what we’ll have to do. We’ll know what Blackburn are doing. They’ll probably want to change one or two people coming back from injury and illness.”

With the cold weather forecast, the Dons planned ahead and booked a training session on the 4G surface at Carshalton Atheltic.

“We had a light day; the boys that played on Saturday got out and got some fresh air," added Neil. "The other boys have worked really well today – they worked hard and put in a good shift. We also had a good look over Blackburn’s last game against Walsall.

“It’s a really good game that we’re looking forward to though. When you’re playing top of the league at home on a Tuesday night – the fans will get behind us and that’s what we need.”

“All the boys are raring to go and want to play in this one. Playing the former Premier League champions at home is what we all look forward to.

“We put in a good shift on Saturday and we were a little disappointed not to take the three points, but Tuesday night at home to the league leaders – there’s nothing better!"

The full interview with AFC Wimbledon Assistant Manager Neil Cox is available on our premium iFollow Dons video platform.

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