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Pigott shakes off illness to make the frame for Oxford

Team news ahead of Wimbledon's important home match on Saturday

8 March 2018

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By Rob Cornell

Striker Joe Pigott is in contention for a place in Neal Ardley's line-up for Saturday's game against Oxford United, having shaken off the effects of a cold.

"Joe Pigott has had a little bit of a cold this week, but he's trained really well this morning," said Assistant manager Neil Cox, in an update from the training ground for our premium iFollow Dons subscription service.

"He likes to do a bit extra as a striker at the end of a session with his finishing. He's back into the squad, so we're nearly all fully there."

Wimbledon have also had a double boost defensively with both centre-backs Darius Charles (hip) and Will Nightingale (knee) available for selection.

"Both are back in training and both will be in the squad and raring to go," confirmed Neil. "Will has missed a bit of time with a knee injury, but he's back in training again and let's see how we go."

Neil was pleased to report that the Dons are fully focused and can't wait to get back into League One action this weekend, following the frustration of last Saturday's game against Charlton being postponed.

"The boys have been really at it the last few days, we just want Saturday to come really. There have been a few nice challenges and a few nice tackles going in. They are getting ready and are raring to go! They've got the bit between their teeth and let's get started!

"We split them into groups and let them organise themselves, and we've told them how we're going to go about it, including what training session they are going to do.

"They've managed to do their own warm-ups, gone into game situations, how they would want to play, and they've taken a lot of responsibility themselves. They've taken that on really well, not only the senior players, but the younger players. They have been organising the senior players too. It's been a really good week."

The coaching staff are also keeping tabs on the progress of forward Jayden Antwi and defender Paul Kalambayi, out on loan at Farnborough and Tonbridge Angels respectively.

"Jayden is doing all right and we've had a couple of reports back on how he's been doing," added Neil "We want him to shine there, scoring loads of goals for them, and proving his worth. He's playing men's football and that's what we need. It'll be good for him and we'll be waiting for the next report to come in.

"Alan Reeves has been watching Paul and he's been telling us how he's been coming up against one or two difficult situations. Alan has been on to him about what he needs to learn and what he needs to do and, like he did with Ryan Sweeney. He will keep reminding him of his good and bad points."

The extensive, six-minute update with Neil Cox is available to subscribers of our iFollow Dons platform, via the link above.

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