Simon Bassey has stressed the importance of everyone sticking together at AFC Wimbledon during a difficult spell in the club’s history.
Having played for Wimbledon FC’s academy as a youngster and returned shortly after AFC Wimbledon’s reformation in 2002, serving as a player and first-team coach during the rise through the leagues, the club means everything to Simon.
Now he’s taken over as interim manager at a time when the Dons need points to start moving up the League One table.
“There is no time worse at a football club when people lose their jobs," said Simon. "I’m obviously proud to be interim manager because Wimbledon is a club I have huge affection for, but I’m also disappointed because a big part of me is sad that Neal Ardley and Neil Cox have lost their jobs. I take no pleasure from taking charge here at the expense of two really good friends.
“That has happened here unfortunately, so it’s really a time to galvanise everyone together and try to move forward. We all have a common goal and that’s for this club to be successful. At the moment for us, it’s just about getting out of the relegation zone and retaining League One status. We want to keep progressing the club forward.
“We have been trying to get the best out of the players and each other for a long time. At the moment, we are just trying to build on the last week, that’s all we can do. The league form has been poor in the last month or so, in the last seven league games the results haven’t gone our way, but we are trying to build some momentum after two victories and two clean sheets. We will try to take that into a busy schedule coming up.”
With Wimbledon having been such a big part of his life, Simon is determined to help the club to keep progressing after a tough start to 2018/19.
“As a boy I was a Wimbledon fan and I played for Wimbledon’s academy from the age of 10 until I was 16 years of age, when I was released,” added Simon. “I came back in my 20s and now I’m 42, so that’s a long time in my life. I’m obviously proud because Wimbledon is a club that means everything to me.
“It is imperative that we start putting points on the board. There are 29 games to go and you can only get three points for every game that you play. Our next game is worth three points and those points are really important to us. We will be doing all we can to achieve that on Saturday against Doncaster.”