Darius Charles resumed full training today after missing Wimbledon’s draw at Rochdale, but Neal Ardley said he will check on the defender’s fitness before selecting a squad to face Shrewsbury.
The experienced defender has struggled with a hip injury recently and Will Nightingale stepped in as a late replacement last time out.
Speaking today during an in-depth update for iFollow, Neal said: “Darius missed the early part of the week after Saturday’s game, but he was back in training today. We need to know how he will have reacted to training, so we will assess him. Other than that, we are not too bad. We have got what we’ve got, and we are going to try and see it through in the last 9 games.
“It’s important to have that squad selection. Next week we play on Friday and Monday, close together, and it’s very important to have players pushing players. If Will is back and training well, Darius, Deji and Robbo have to up their game. From that point of view, it’s vital to have that competition for places.”
As we announced earlier this week, Cody McDonald has suffered a foot injury that could keep him out for the rest of this season.
Therefore, that increases the importance of other players stepping up to the mark in front of goal. Defenders Jon Meades and Deji Oshilaja have both chipped in with vital strikes in recent weeks and the manager has called on his squad to continue sharing the goals around.
“It is a good time with nine games to go for Lyle and Joe (Pigott) to hit form and get a little run going because it is natural to them, but people like Barchy and Harry Forrester, the midfielders, and centre-halves, any goal from them is going to be well received. That will help us on the road to get the points we need to get.”
A full preview of the Shrewsbury match will feature on the official website tomorrow and Neal’s full interview from this afternoon is now on iFollow via the link above.