By Rob Cornell
George Long has earned rave reviews for his performances between the sticks for Wimbledon, but he’s quick to acknowledge the efforts made by those in front of him at a crucial stage of the season.
While George has made stunning saves all season long for the Dons, he has every confidence in the current centre-back pairing of Deji Oshilaja and Will Nightingale in helping to shut-out the opposition.
“Deji has been brilliant,” said George “I think he’s got someone on the inside for ‘Team of the Week’, because he’s managing to get in there every week!” added the number one with a smile. “He made a block in the first half and threw his body on the line (against Shrewsbury), which was excellent. He’s been so consistent.”
Darius Charles had established himself alongside Deji as a mean defensive duo, but in his absence due to injury it has presented another opportunity for Nightingale in a position where there’s strong competition for places.
“Will came back in for the last couple of games and he’s been excellent as well,” said George, on a season-long loan from Championship club Sheffield United. “He puts himself about at the back when he needs to and has been very solid.”
Despite defeat by a single-goal to the league leaders on Saturday, George retains the strong-belief throughout the squad that the Dons have the necessary qualities over the Easter period to retain our League One status.
“We’ve got a couple of very big games coming up at Easter, at home to Fleetwood on Friday and then away on Easter Monday to Doncaster – so they are two massive games. We’re looking to put a marker down and try and get maximum points if we can.
"People who watched the game (at Shrewsbury) can see the togetherness we've got, the work ethic. We are not giving up on stuff, even towards the end. If we perform like that in the last eight games, we will be more than fine.
“It is about fine margins,” said George. “I don’t think there was much difference between us, but that little difference has meant they have got three points. That’s probably why Shrewsbury are up the top of the league, because they are relentless in their work ethic and their concentration.”