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Midfielder puts the team first ahead of personal glory

Match-winner Callum Reilly aims to help build momentum

16 December 2019

Callum Reilly was delighted to score his first Wimbledon league goal on Saturday, but he said it would have counted for little if his side hadn’t managed to hold on for all three points.

After late heartbreak at Bolton a week earlier, Callum said it was vital that Wimbledon clung on for maximum points against Doncaster and he praised the impact of Shane McLoughlin, who deputised for the injured Scott Wagstaff.

“I am delighted, more because we held on in the end. If we hadn’t held on for the win, particularly after last week, I wouldn’t have been as happy as I am standing here now. We are trying to make this place a fortress now, making ourselves hard to beat, and we are trying to climb the table. It’s just about building that momentum for the boys. The fans were brilliant and they stuck with us in the last four minutes, which felt more like 40 minutes!

“I know Marcus and how he is when he sniffs a chance, I knew that he was going to make life really horrible for that defender when he was one on one. It was just instinct that made me get up there, but I never expected it to happen as I know what Marcus is like, I knew he was going to want to take the chance himself! Fortunately, he took a bigger touch and I managed to nick in front of him, which I don’t think he was too happy about it until he seen it go in! He’s got 10 goals anyway!

“It was disappointing in the first-half as we were not at the levels we had set recently. In the second-half, we executed a better game plan, we stepped onto them and that was typified with the first goal when Max won the ball to put Marcus through for the penalty. That all stemmed from us being more aggressive in the way that we put ourselves positionally.

“Shane was fantastic and at the end he won a header near the front post, even though he is not the tallest. That was massive because you need people to step forward in those last few moments when you are tired and struggling. You need people to come to the fore and I felt that Shane dealt well with Doncaster’s left winger, who is a very tricky player. Shane was brilliant. Missing senior players is key, but they were here supporting the boys. You need people to step-up in these situations and that’s what Shane did.”

Callum added that he hopes to chip in with a few more goals and recapture a bit of the scoring form that he showed at previous club Gillingham.

“I felt that I hadn’t been getting the opportunities. I said to my Dad the other day that I wanted to try and get forward more and offer more of an impact going forward. I had a half chance before in the game, which I’d snatched at, so it was good to get forward and get that chance to score, to help the team. More importantly, we won the game.

“Last season I felt that I had one of my best spells, in terms of goals. I had a little spell around December until January time last season, so hopefully this goal is something I can try to build on. We have got Marcus to score goals and Pigs will come to the fore as well, but it’s about the rest of the team trying to chip in. We’ve got more important jobs to do in terms of midfield and defence, keeping the ball out, but second-half we were a lot better with our attacking.”

“We have a massive game coming up against Tranmere, a team just below us, so we will look to go there and continue the momentum. Hopefully, we can continue this form into the Christmas period as the games are coming thick and fast now.”

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