Glyn Hodges has set his players a new challenge of starting another unbeaten home run after Wimbledon’s first defeat at the Cherry Red Records Stadium since September.
The Dons host Sol Campbell’s Southend United on New Year’s Day on the back of a defeat that came after Glyn’s boys pushed League One high-flyers Oxford United all the way. It will be a completely different kind of test on Wednesday as Wimbledon take on a Southend side with 15 points less and without a win in 14 league matches. However, Southend did earn a victory against Wimbledon in the Leasing.com Trophy and they have proven to be tough to beat in recent weeks with three draws from their last five league games.
Below are quotes from both managers, team news, and a look back at previous meetings between the two clubs.
“I’ve said to the boys that we want it to be a case of ‘one run finishes, another one starts’. We’ve had our first home defeat since 21 September – it’s been a fantastic run – and now we have our first home game of 2020 coming up. Let’s see how long we can stay unbeaten for at home and get back on that run.
“We’ve upset teams in this division and we’ve been upset by teams when we haven’t been at our best. We have to make sure that we are all fully recovered from the last game and that we are at it. If we play like we did in the second-half against Oxford we will pick-up more points than we lose. That’s the challenge to the boys, we have to keep those levels up.
“I’m sure the fans will get behind us and show their usual great support, though they may be a bit hungover from the night before! We will be fresh and ready to go, so we will aim to play good enough football to get the fans on the edge of their seats. That’s the aim for the players.”
“Me believing we can stay up and the team believing they can stay up are sometimes two different things. But performances like we had on Boxing Day will help the belief. We’ve been moving in the right direction, but we just need to get over the line in the final third. We’re playing better but there’s lapses of concentration, in both boxes. The next step is believing that we can win the game and having that coolness in front of goal.“
Glyn Hodges will check on the fitness of Terell Thomas (hip) before selecting his squad to face Southend United. Scott Wagstaff and Anthony Wordsworth (both calf injuries) and Kwesi Appiah (ankle) have made good progress, but they are not expected to return to full training for another two weeks. Michael Folivi and Adam Roscrow are expected to be back soon, but Will Nightingale (hip) and Paul Kalambayi (ruptured ankle ligament) are out long-term.
Sol Campbell reported no fresh injury concerns following the Boxing Day draw with Milton Keynes. Mark Oxley looks set to retain his place in goal following praise from the Blues boss, while Campbell has a number of options available to him up front should he wish to tinker with his front line as Charlie Kelman returned from a long lay-off last time out. Nathan Ralph and Harry Lennon are both still ruled out as they are recovering from a dislocated shoulder and broken leg respectively.
Wimbledon - Marcus Forss (11)
Southend - Stephen Humphrys (5)
Form Guide (last six, starting with most recent)
Last time out
Wimbledon 1-2 Oxford
Southend 2-2 Milton Keynes
Though Southend earned a 3-1 victory against Wimbledon in the Leasing.com Trophy on 13 November, Wimbledon have won the last three league meetings between the two clubs and below is a look back at those victories.
Southend 1-4 Wimbledon (12 October 2019)
Wimbledon came out of the traps quickly to earn a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes with Marcus Forss netting both goals, before Timothee Dieng halved the deficit. However, Forss cracked home a penalty to bag his hat-trick seven minutes after half-time and Ryan Delaney’s soaring header sealed a third successive victory for Glyn Hodges since taking over as manager. Take a look below at the highlights from that game.
Southend 0-1 Wimbledon (16 March 2019)
Joe Pigott’s second-half winner rounded off an impressive sequence of results for Wimbledon – three wins in eight days that proved vital in the battle to stay up. Pigott capitalised on a defensive mix-up between Southend defender Michael Turner and keeper Mark Oxley to notch the all-important winner in the 67th minute.
Wimbledon 2-1 Southend (24 November 2018)
Though an own goal by Liam Trotter gave Southend an early lead, Wimbledon equalised on the stroke of half-time through Deji Oshilaja. In a tight second-half, Mitch Pinnock struck what turned out to be the winner in the 70th minute.
There’s still time to snap-up a ticket to watch The Dons! Though all seat tickets and terrace tickets for the Chemflow End are sold out, we still have availability for the Ry Terrace (just £17 for adults). Buy in advance until 11.00 am from the online ticket shop (collect pre-match), or pay on the day at the turnstiles.
For those not attending the game, you can listen to live WDON audio commentary with Mikey T and Rob Cornell reporting from the Cherry Red Records Stadium. You can gain access to this coverage by accessing our iFollow channel.