AFC Wimbledon have an opportunity on Saturday to move further away from the drop zone after picking up four points out of six and Glyn Hodges believes his squad can take confidence from previous matches against Doncaster.
Despite being eliminated from the FA Cup by tomorrow’s opponents, Wimbledon came close to victory in the first meeting with Joe Pigott’s goal having put us in the driving seat. Our manager is expecting another difficult tussle on Saturday, but he’s encouraged by his side’s recent performances. Last time out, we came so close to all three points against Bolton with two goals by Marcus Forss (pictured) and a goal tomorrow for the flying Finn would take him into double figures for The Dons. Certainly, Wimbledon have been in good form on home turf, as Glyn's boys seek to extend an unbeaten run at the Cherry Red Records Stadium that stretches back to 21 September.
Below are quotes from Glyn, his opposite number Darren Moore, plus stats, and a recap of previous matches.
“When I first took over the initial remit was to improve the position in the league and get some points on the board. Now it’s a case of us keeping going and looking upwards and not downwards. We have some good players, but it’s just about instilling a little bit of belief and it’s important that we pick up points. Hopefully, we do that when we are on top in games, but also when we go away and we are under pressure. It takes all sorts of performances to get the points, but it’s about building the confidence, building that momentum, and looking forward.
“We are giving different types of performances. The Gillingham game was more of a toe to toe battle and Bolton at the weekend was a different type of game. We are mixing our game up well and having chances to win games. That is key and whoever we are playing against, whether it’s Doncaster at home or another team, we aim to win.
“It’s the third time in seven games that we are playing Doncaster. I thought we did well in the first games and we were unlucky not to beat them. I think it does help [that we’ve played them recently]. It’ll help them as well I would think. We know what we’re up against. We know what caused their downfall and we know what caused them problems. We’ve been working on our strengths and exploiting their weaknesses.
“It looked like we had the game won at Bolton until we had injury time upon injury time, so the fans probably went home as disappointed as we did. We are back at home, it’s the last one before Christmas, so I hope they are not all doing their Christmas shopping and they all turn up and get behind the boys. We will be giving it 100 per cent, the boys will be ready, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
“You can never predict these games. Both teams will have a game plan going into it and both teams will want to see it go a certain way. But football is football and you can only go there with the right intentions. Sometimes when it kicks off, it’s all bets off.
“Both teams have had a good look at each other already in the cup and it wasn’t that long ago. We know what’s coming. Both teams will be looking forward to the game. We’re going to have to be really prepared. We know what a difficult place it is to go. Again, it’s a game we look forward to. It’s a right good challenge.
“Now that the matches are coming in quick succession we are able to get that continuity in our game, that is something we’ve been lacking. We’re constantly focusing on the next game and looking to do well in that, because you can’t look too far ahead in this league.
“If you start taking your eye off the ball and thinking about the league table then that is when you can come unstuck.”
Form Guide (last six in all competitions, starting with most recent)
AFC Wimbledon DWLLLD
Last time out
Bolton 2-2 AFC Wimbledon
Doncaster 1-1 Milton Keynes
AFC Wimbledon – Marcus Forss (9)
Doncaster – Kieran Sadlier (6)
Doncaster 2-0 AFC Wimbledon (Emirates FA Cup replay, 9 November)
The two sides have met twice already this season with Doncaster edging through to the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with a win at the Keepmoat Stadium. However, they’ve since been knocked out of the competition with defeat against Gillingham and Darren Moore’s side have won just one out of the last six in all competitions.
A blast from the past!
The Dons are unbeaten in three previous home matches against Doncaster with our 2-0 victory in March as the undoubted highlight from those games. A cracking strike from Steve Seddon set Wimbledon on the way to a vital win, before substitute Shane McLoughlin sealed it near the end. It paved the way for an important three-match winning streak – all achieved in just eight days – as Wimbledon moved towards that remarkable Great Escape. Take a look at the highlights from that memorable win below.
We still have RyGas terrace tickets available for the match on Saturday. Book an adult ticket for just £17, either in advance from our online shop or on the day. For more information, see our Match Details article.