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Preview: Wally urges his side to rise to the challenge again

Quotes from both managers and a recap of previous battles ahead of trip to Coventry

11 January 2019

AFC Wimbledon on Saturday face a tough test against a Coventry side flying high in League One, but the Dons go into it buoyed by an impressive away victory last time out.

Since the appointment of Wally Downes, Wimbledon have only lost twice, and one of those was at the home of League One leaders Portsmouth. The manager is looking for his players to continue the feel-good factor created by that last-gasp FA Cup win at Fleetwood Town. The Dons will be taking on a Coventry side currently occupying eighth place in the table, but the Sky Blues did suffer defeat last time with a 2-1 league loss at Scunthorpe United.

Below are quotes from both managers, plus team news, stats, and a recap of previous battles.

Wally Downes

“Every game is a test, especially with the position that we found ourselves in, and this will be a challenge. We’ve risen to every test so far. From my point of view, there has been constant improvement each time that we’ve played. We are getting better as a team and long may that continue so that the results will come with that.

“It’s been a really good week. The first time this week that we saw the whole squad together was on Tuesday when they knew about the draw and they’ve been bubbly since then.”

Mark Robins

“We’re playing in a way which I think is attractive. The goal we scored against Southend was a brilliant team goal and that’s where we want to try and get to regularly. Tomorrow we will come up against a side who have won two of their last three and they’ve got a new manager with a Wimbledon connection from the days when I was playing and understands what they’re about and what they require and regardless of their position in the league it’s a difficult game.

“We found ourselves in a similar position two years ago at the bottom of the league but still winning games and playing some decent football. The chances are it will be a tough game for us and flip that round, if we do the right things it will be a difficult afternoon for them and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Team news

Dylan Connolly could be included in Wally Downes’s squad for the first time after his international clearance came through earlier today. Deji Oshilaja and Joe Pigott are both also in contention to be back in the squad after shaking off injuries. The Dons will be without Ben Purrington for Saturday, as he was recalled by Rotherham, and subsequently joined Charlton Athletic on loan. Tyler Garratt is poised to step-up and fill the void.

For Coventry, Bright Enobakhare has signed on loan from Wolves and he could make his debut against the Dons.

Form guide (last six, starting with most recent)

Coventry City LWWWLL

AFC Wimbledon WLDWWL

Last time out

Scunthorpe United 1-2 Coventry City

Fleetwood 2-3 AFC Wimbledon

Previous meetings

The last three matches between these two sides have all ended in draws. In August, it was a 0-0 draw at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, and the previous two meetings came in the 2016/17, a season when the Sky Blues were relegated. Below is a recap of both of those matches:

AFC Wimbledon (Robinson) 1-1 Coventry City (Jones) on 14 February 2017)

Paul Robinson rescued a point for Wimbledon in stoppage time after a goal from Jodi Jones had threatened to win it for Coventry, who were keeping spirits high despite seemingly being doomed to relegation. The Sky Blues did go down at the end of that season, but they bounced back with promotion from League 2 last season at the first attempt.

Coventry City (Sordell, Wright) 2-2 AFC Wimbledon (Taylor, Meades) on 28 September 2016

The Dons fell behind inside two minutes though a goal from Marvin Sordell, but Jon Meades equalised before half-time. Wimbledon appeared to be heading for victory when Lyle Taylor struck seven minutes from time, but Andre Wright earned a point for Coventry in the fourth minute of injury-time.


Dons supporters will be accommodated in the seated and covered South Stand.

Wimbledon supporters can pay on the day at the following prices:

Adults £25;

Concessions (Over 60s,18-21 years, and students with valid ID) £18

Juniors (under 18) £13

For those supporters who have purchased tickets in advance, you can collect pre-match from the ticket office at the Ricoh Arena (situated opposite the casino).


Coventry City have advised us that the Ricoh Arena is within a restricted car parking zone. Therefore, it is recommended that supporters pre-book a space if they wish to guarantee a parking spot. It's £5 to book and you can do so by visiting the Ricoh Arena website.


Stay in touch with the action from the Ricoh Arena by tuning into iFollow. WDON commentators Mikey T and Rob Cornell will be reporting live on the game from Coventry.

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