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Preview: Darius provides boost for Dons ahead of Oxford challenge

Views from both camps, stats, plus an interview with returning defender Darius

9 March 2018

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By Rob Cornell

Neil Cox believes that the Dons will have to combat an attractive passing style from opponents Oxford United tomorrow.

Though the men from the Kassam stadium are far from safe in League One, experienced caretaker manager Derek Fazackerley has initiated a more expansive way of playing, according to our assistant boss.

Following a break last weekend due to the postponement of the Charlton game, Neil Cox said that the squad are in good shape to meet the challenge.

The Dons are back at The Cherry Red Records Stadium and looking to retain their status in the division, with the visitors only four points ahead of them in the table. Oxford did win the reverse fixture 3-0 back in October, but Wimbledon triumphed in the two previous meetings.

Neil Cox:

"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!

"Derek Fazackerley has taken over for now, he's a good friend of mine. He's got them playing a more attractive football. They've come away from how they had been playing. They try and get the ball down from the back and play it out from there. They are a good side, but they are not too far in front of us in the table. It's a big game."

Derek Fazackerley

"The game being called off last weekend prevented us from playing at home and maybe collecting three points, but you don't have to go too far back to the Northampton game, where we picked up a point away at a side who play in a similar way to Wimbledon, quite direct, quite physical and at a tight ground. Wimbledon maybe haven't been having a great time, so we have to go there and look to get a good result and three points if we can."

Team news

Striker Joe Pigott is in contention for a place in Neal Ardley's line-up, having shaken off the effects of a cold. Wimbledon have also had a double boost defensively with both centre-backs Darius Charles (hip) and Will Nightingale (knee) available for selection.

Midfielder Anthony Hartigan has had a successful knee operation, but he has been ruled out for the rest of this season. There was more positive news to report on Kwesi Appiah, who is recovering well from a hamstring operation. He has been working on an exercise bike at the training ground this week.

Oxford United don't anticipate too many changes to their recent line-ups. Ivo Pekalski stepped up his comeback with some game time in midweek. Curtis Nelson, Robbie Hall and Joe Rothwell are not available, but Cameron Brannagan is competing for a place in midfield.


In the build-up to tomorrow's game, Darius Charles spoke to our premium channel and he talked about his determination to keep Wimbledon in League One – two years since he arrived at the club. Click on the link above to watch the interview.If you can't make it to The Cherry Red Records Stadium tomorrow, then listen to the game via iFollow. Our WDON team will be providing live commentary for domestic subscribers. For those overseas, you can watch a live stream of the game. Visit our iFollow section on the official website for more details.

Last meeting

October 7, 2017

Sky Bet League One,

Oxford United 3, AFC Wimbledon 0

Last season

AFC Wimbledon completed the double over Oxford United. Before a 2-1 victory at The Cherry Red Records Stadium in January of last year, The Dons recorded a memorable 3-1 win at the Kassam Stadium – see the goals from this game via the link below.

Form guide (All competitions, most recent result first)

AFC Wimbledon - LDWLLL

Oxford United - DLLLWL

Last time out

AFC Wimbledon 0, Blackburn Rovers 3

Northampton Town 0, Oxford United 0

Leading scorers

Lyle Taylor (AFC Wimbledon) – 14 goals

Wes Thomas (Oxford United) – 9 goals


Tickets are available for the RyGas terrace and there is limited availability for the Chemflow End. You can book tickets via our online ticket shop. Alternatively, you can buy in person from the club office until 5.00 pm today, and terrace tickets will be available on the day.

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