By Chris Slavin
Having played a part in AFC Wimbledon’s dramatic survival back in 2013, Jon Meades has called on the current squad to display a similar fighting spirit in the battle to stay up.
Jon is the only player among this season’s squad to have been involved five years ago, the left-back’s loan spell from Bournemouth ending in 2012/13 with a young player of the year accolade and helping the club to avoid relegation.
Asked about replicating the spirit shown during that dramatic run-in, Wimbledon's long-serving full-back said: “We are under no illusions, we are in a dogfight. The key to it will be the spirit. To be fair to this group of boys, they all want the best for the club, for themselves, and for the staff. We must use that spirit to get us through. We really have to give it our all during the rest of this season.
“It was a disappointing defeat (against Blackburn). Up until the first goal, there was not much in the game. It was a cold night, the pitch was not the best, but that is not an excuse as it was the same for both teams. We did not compete as well as we should have and that is criminal really in our position. Now we have 11 cup finals coming up and we have to make sure we don’t put in more performances like that. The form of the team has been up and down and, personally, I feel that my game has been a little bit like that. I want to get a bit more consistency into my game. In the last two games I feel that I’ve performed pretty well, but I don’t think anyone can take much credit from the last performance.”
Jon is gearing up for an important match against his former club Oxford United on Saturday and he believes the Dons faithful can really play their part during the run-in.
“As players, we need to give the fans something to shout about as well. It’s a team effort: the players, the staff, and the supporters. As a message from the boys, when the fans get behind us it makes a big difference. We are really going to need them. We know what we have to do until the end of the season. We need to give our best in every game until the end of this season as we want to keep the club in this division. It’s just a case of trying to get the best out of the team and put together a consistent set of results.”