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Squad boost for The Dons ahead of crucial match

Manager's interview ahead of trip to Bradford

2 May 2019

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Wally Downes said that Rod McDonald is back in contention for the trip to Bradford City on Saturday and he has virtually a fully fit squad to select from.

McDonald has been missing with a groin injury since being withdrawn at half-time during the 2-2 draw at title-chasers Luton, but he has shaken off a groin injury in time to make the squad. It means that Scott Wagstaff is the only squad member ruled out, as he misses the final League One match of the season.

Speaking during an interview for iFollow, our manager said: “Rod is back training, he trained on Tuesday, and he was out there again today. I have virtually a fully-fit squad. There are going to be a couple disappointed, but the ones who get the nod will be going full-blast, and so will the substitutes.”

The Dons head to West Yorkshire with their destiny in their own hands. Barring a big shift in goal difference, a point at Bradford will guarantee League One survival, but Wally says that the focus has to be on simply winning the game.

“The players are not stupid, they know what’s in hand, so I’ve not harped on about it," added Wally. "I am just approaching this game in the same way as we have every other game. It’s pointless me playing it down or hyping it up. Everyone knows what’s required. Everyone knows all the permutations, except me, so we are just going up there to try and win the next game.

“They (Bradford) are playing with a bit of freedom now. I know there is a bit of a burden on teams that are down there, but when they know their fate that burden can be lifted off their shoulders. You’ve seen it with Fulham, there is a freedom that they can play with. We need to prepare properly so that we go out and do our jobs.”

An impressive run of form has provided Wimbledon with a great opportunity to stay up. Wally said that building up the confidence of a squad lacking in confidence was important after he was appointed.

“When I initially came in I had to get them to buy into how I wanted the team to change,” said Wally. “There were some difficult times when we were cut adrift, but I had to keep telling them that I could see improvement in the team. They had to stick with it and believe in it. When you come out of the other side and results start turning, everyone can see that it’s worthwhile.

“The satisfaction for me is in seeing players improve and being able to put the players that have improved in winning situations into a good team. That’s where I get my satisfaction from.”

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

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