Anthony Wordsworth’s experience has proven to be invaluable during Wimbledon’s revival and the midfielder has revelled in helping younger members of our squad during the run-in.
Now 30 years of age, Anthony has taken on responsibility for guiding younger players through a difficult season that could have a happy ending at Bradford on Saturday if Wimbledon get the right result to stay up.
“Since the manager was appointed, I’ve played every game and I’ve tried to help the young lads," said Anthony. "I forget how young they are! Some of them are only 19 years of age, which is crazy. You look at Paul Kalambayi and it’s easy to forget he’s only 19 with the size of him! They have all improved so much during the period they’ve been in the team. They have learned a lot and they are getting better and better every week. It’s been a pleasure to play with them. Anthony Hartigan has got very good ability, I noticed that as soon as I signed here. If you are 19 years of age and you are playing every week, I think that says a lot about you. He is only going to get better and better.
“We’ve got a young squad and I’ve tried to give my all. I feel that I’ve contributed a lot since I came into the team, which is nice, and we have one last hurdle to clear to do the job. We’ve only done half the job, but we still have another half to do. We have to go there with the mindset of winning the game and to keep the momentum going.
“Our form away from home has been really good. I know in home games that we’ve been getting in front and conceding goals, but we will be going there trying to get three points. We just need to focus on ourselves. If we get three points, we will definitely be safe so we just need to focus on what we’re doing and not on what’s happening elsewhere.”
Since joining the club last summer, Anthony, who was with Wimbledon’s academy as a youngster, has enjoyed mingling with supporters. Though he accepts his emotions got the better of him with that celebration at Luton Town, Anthony was delighted to make amends with the fans.
“With the emotion of scoring a goal I just got a little bit over-excited, but I think it was well worth the yellow card! The little boy that I picked up, I managed to get in contact with his Mum and Dad, so I’m going to send him a shirt from the game. The lady who got injured we had in the changing room break-dancing after the Wycombe game.
“The gaffer mentioned on Tuesday night at the sponsors’ dinner that even when there are 40 or 50 people coming to support us at Rochdale we still appreciate that. They still make a lot of noise and they are a massive help, but to have 2,000 at Bradford would be a big help. They have played their part, especially on the road.
“I always go in the bar after home games. My family are there and my Dad is always in the bar. I always mingle and speak to the fans, it’s nice to hear their opinions on certain things. It’s a very tight-knit club. It’s nice to speak with the fans, I’m sure it means a lot to them.”
Anthony's full interview with Rob Cornell is available to watch by clicking on the link above.