Wally Downes will have to do without captain Deji Oshilaja and Dylan Connolly for the trip to Shrewsbury Town.
Both players do not have serious injuries, but Saturday’s match will come too soon for them to return to the squad.
“They have both got similar injuries,” said Wally. “They have bone bruising, and the problem is that it takes a while to go. They have both got it in the instep of the foot and the ankle. Unfortunately, the ball collides with those parts quite a lot. It’s a case of easing it off as much as we can, keeping them doing the cardio work, and waiting for the pain to subside enough for them to play. We have no injuries from today in training, so that’s all you can ask for every day.”
Though Kwesi Appiah and James Hanson have both made good progress this week after injury lay-offs, the latter having featured for the development squad in midweek, Wally says he has to be careful with the recuperation of both players.
“Kwesi trained on Tuesday and he did some work with the physio on Wednesday. He wasn’t with me today, but he worked with Jason Moriarty. He has ticked a lot of boxes about where his injury is just from the physical side of it, but it’s about how hard we push him now for the long-term. We don’t want him coming back for two games and then being out for a month again, as he’s done this time. We might have to suck it up for a bit longer.
“When you come back after a long time out you are susceptible to injury. It sounds silly if you’ve only played for 45 minutes, but you are retraining your body. Your body gets used to not playing. Again, we will have to be careful with James, ease him in, and then try to get the 90 minutes into him.”
The Dons will be buoyed by a good support at Shrewsbury with the squad funding travel for fans and Wally expects the players to give everything for the cause on Saturday.
“You can’t just say to players, ‘go out and play for the fans’ because I’ve been at clubs where that’s not their motivation. The motivation is purely personal, so they need to motivate themselves to go out and put in a performance that the fans can enjoy. Sportsmen are individual, selfish people, and they want to perform for themselves initially. If they do that and I get enough of them performing within the framework of the team then the fans will enjoy it. As long as the fans are seeing that the players are putting the effort in, they can’t ask for a lot more.”
“Shrewsbury had a good little run, including two wins on the trot. It’s a game that we want to go and win. If they didn’t win last time out they would have been closer to us, but every match is a target game now for us. I’ve said there are 12 cup finals and this is one of them. We’ve got to go there and perform, form goes out of the window, and it’s a case of roll your sleeves up and win the game.”
The full interview with Wally is now on our iFollow channel and you can view it by clicking on the link above.