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Tough decisions for Wally ahead of Doncaster match

Team news from the manager in the build-up to important home game

7 March 2019

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Wally Downes said he will have a selection dilemma ahead of two ‘critical’ games with players now returning from injury lay-offs.

Kwesi Appiah and Dylan Connolly are both back in the reckoning after shaking off hamstring and foot injuries respectively, plus James Hanson is pushing for more game-time. The Dons face Doncaster at home on Saturday, before hosting Peterborough United on Tuesday night and the manager is pleased to have extra options available to him. 

“The squad is getting bigger and bigger," said Wally. "All the injured players that I didn’t see for a month are making some progress. James Hanson has been back for the last couple of games, and Kwesi has come through a couple of days this week, so there is only really Deji that I’m missing out of the long-term ones. Rod (McDonald) is just short-term.

“Dylan is not far off. If it’s not Saturday, he will be in the squad on Tuesday I would have thought, but it just gives you some more formation headaches because we’ve become a bit more solid with three centre-backs. Trying to find spots for players is difficult and especially with the amount of players coming back now. It’s difficult to fit everyone in and make everyone happy.”

The manager fully recognises the importance of getting back to winning form on home turf after positive results on the road. In an effort to achieve that goal, Wally says that hard work on the training ground has included aiming to rectify what went wrong against Charlton in the last home game.

“I was very pleased with the first-half against Charlton and we had two very good opportunities at the start of the second-half to make goal-scoring chances, but we turned them both down and they went down the other end and scored,” recalled Wally. “Although we played really well in the first-half, in the first five minutes of the second-half we got a little bit ahead of ourselves and didn’t play the way we had in the first-half. We didn’t pass the ball when we should have passed it and straight away I was thinking that we had gone away from the message a little bit.

“We’ve certainly identified what stopped our momentum in that game, it was two bad decisions. We’ve worked hard all week on passing the ball a bit quicker and a bit firmer to the back of the defence and getting willing runners forward, so hopefully that’s the next progression.

“If we get off to a great start, play well, and get our noses in front at home, then I’m sure our fans will realise that this is a critical couple of games and it could be the start of a nine-point week. We’ve got to make sure that we are out there and really pushing for the win. Not harum-scarum stuff and chasing the game by giving away anything early, but we’ve got to be solid, stay in the game, and take advantage of any mistakes that the opposition make.”

The full interview with Wally is available to watch by clicking on the link to our iFollow channel above.

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