Jaakko Oksanen’s return will offer AFC Wimbledon an extra midfield option for the Boxing Day match at Oxford United.
Glyn Hodges confirmed that Jaakko is back in the frame as he has trained with the Dons this week, the Finland Under-21 international having shown his fitness after an ankle injury by coming through a game for his parent club’s second string.
"Jaakko came through 45 minutes for Brentford B at the weekend, so he has trained back with us and fingers-crossed he will be fit for selection,” said Glyn.
In his interview ahead of the Oxford match, our manager spoke enthusiastically about the fitness of our current squad at an important stage of the season – and about the benefits of having extra time to work with them on the training pitch.
"We’ve come through the recent busy spell really well with no soft tissue injuries,” added Glyn. “Chris McConnell, Tim, and Matt have done brilliantly on that side of things to keep things ticking along. At times last year we had six or seven players out, and it was all hands to the pump, but now I have selection headaches and everyone is banging on my door. After the recent run of games everyone has had that taste of first-team football and they want more, so it’s good that I have got that.
“Now with the Ipswich game off we have a nice couple of weeks when we can get some good work back into them, rather than just recovering and playing. They can spend longer on the grass than they have done. There is a body of work now that we can get through to stand us in good stead for January.
“We have given them Christmas Day off. We did that last year at Bristol Rovers and we won. At the start of that game I wasn’t too sure if that was a good decision, but we will go with it again and hopefully we get the same result.”
Asked about the players taking responsibility for recent defeats and leadership within the squad, Glyn said: “We discuss things, there’s a leadership group with some senior boys in there, including players who have played for some good clubs at this level. We encourage that. If you can get that side right, as well as the information that myself and the staff are putting across, then it’s going to be good for everybody.”
We also spoke to Connal Trueman in the build-up to Oxford and the full interview with him is below.