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Wimbledon still looking to strengthen ahead of the trip to Bantams

Assistant Manager Neil Cox with the latest from the training ground

25 January 2018

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By Rob Cornell

Neal Ardley is aiming to make another addition to the Dons squad, while his side prepare for this Saturday’s tough away trip to Bradford City.

“We’re still working hard,” said assistant manager Neil Cox in an update from the training ground with our iFollow Dons premium channel. “The gaffer has been on the phone this morning and Simon Bassey has been looking at a couple of games and we’ve been looking at other people.

“If we can get another signing over the line, as soon as possible, that is what we are trying to do. It’s not easy, as clubs don’t want to let players go on the cheap and we want to keep all of ours.

“We need one or two youngsters to go out on loan, just so that they learn their trade and play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday for a first-team, wherever we can get them a game - that will be beneficial for all,” added Neil.

The coaching staff continue to be impressed with their latest addition from Maidstone United in the January transfer window. Striker Joe Pigott has been working hard on his return to league football, after his goal-scoring debut as a substitute in the victory over Blackpool.

“The process of getting Joe Pigott into the team continues to be excellent. He’s trained really hard and obviously he’s coming into full-time training again. He’s been out of it for a while, but he’s done his little bit of extra work and finishing and he looks like he’s a really good all-round player.

“He’s coming up to speed with regular first-team football again and he’s hungry to play games.”

The weather has again disrupted preparations this week, with a League Cup match for the development squad at Merstham postponed and training switched to Carshalton Athletic today.

“It hasn’t been easy, but I don’t think we’re the only club in the lower leagues that are struggling with pitches and the weather. Thank goodness we’ve been able to get some training and the boys have come through it.

“It’s disappointing we didn’t have a development game as two or three players need to get some minutes under their belt. Paul Robinson needs to play some games, it has been difficult, but the boys have worked really hard – as much as you can do on the 4G surface.

“We’re travelling up in the morning and managing to train at Sheffield United and we’re thankful to them for letting us train at their facilities. We’ve done a lot of organisational work ahead of tomorrow.

“Dean Parrett is struggling for match fitness and he will probably have to miss out again this week. Will Nightingale has got a sore knee, but it’s not too bad. He’s just twisted it on the ball. Everybody else is in contention.”

Bradford last won on New Year’s Day at Fleetwood. Since then, they’ve missed out on an FA Cup date with Manchester United as they went out to Yeovil. They’ve also lost their last three league games. However, they are fifth in the table and Neil knows Wimbledon face a stern test as they look to complete the double over the Bantams for this season.

“It’s not going to be an easy match going there. I know they’ve had a few defeats, but they are a good side. They’ll be strong, fit and organised and Stuart McCall will get them going and we’re expecting a really tough game there.”

The full five-minute update from the training ground with assistant manager Neil Cox is available to subscribers of iFollow Dons. 

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