Glyn Hodges says the Dons are looking forward to the challenge of facing one of the promotion contenders on Saturday after showing impressive form on the road this season.
The match at the Valley comes just three days before the marathon trip to Sunderland, but Wimbledon have collected 12 points away from home so far with just two defeats. That record will be tested against a Charlton side that were poised to move up to third in League One, before conceding an injury-time goal at Shrewsbury last time out.
Following relegation from the Championship, Lee Bowyer has rejuvenated Charlton with Conor Washington, a summer signing from Hearts, scoring five goals, and former Peterborough talent Marcus Maddison having also bolstered their attacking options. Certainly, our manager is expecting a completely different challenge from tomorrow's opponents than in the previous meeting when the Dons won 2-1 in the Papa John's Trophy at the start of September.
Below are quotes from both managers, plus stats, and more ahead of Saturday’s game.
“We’ve have done well away from home this season. One of our defeats was at Hull and I thought that was our best performance of the season. You know when you are playing against the top sides or the promotion-elect sides that you have to be at it. We have two tough games coming up, but I’m looking forward to both.
“I think new owners were pending then (before last meeting in the Papa John’s Trophy), but they hadn’t quite got the deal over the line. Since then, they’ve invested a lot and it’s a different team to what we faced last time. They gave us a good game anyway as they went 1-0 up, but we came back and beat them. They are a stronger proposition with some experienced players. It’s going to be a tough game as they have been on a good run, they have won a lot of games back to back. They will be confident and fired up to play in front of their own fans.
“Their centre forwards are strong, they can score goals, and they are a handful, and they have a lot of experience, including Chris Gunter, who is the record cap holder for Wales. They have lots of experience, and it will be a good test.”
“Wimbledon are difficult to break down. They beat Peterborough the other week. They’ve got Pigott up top who is a handful. I wasn’t here when he was at the club, but what I see now I like. He holds the ball up well, brings people into play, and is very good aerially in the box. They have a lot of energy in midfield. We’ll have to be patient on Saturday. That’s the word I’ll be using to the players - 'patience'."
“We didn’t lose the game (last Saturday). It felt like we lost the game, but we didn’t. Shrewsbury is not an easy place to go. They made it difficult for us. That’s what happens at this level, even more so because teams look at us just coming down from the Championship. If we’d held onto it and were now sat third in the table, I’d say we were probably over-achieving.”
Back to the Valley
Terell Thomas, Joe Pigott, and Alex Woodyard all had spells with the Addicks as young players carving out their careers in the game. All three had to reignite their careers in non league football and Pigs returns to the Valley in top form with 10 goals scored already this season in all competitions. We put together a video of Joe's 10 goals so far this season and you can watch it on our official Twitter page.
Click on the link below to watch a pre-match interview with Alex Woodyard.
The Dons could come up against two familiar faces tomorrow. Our former Player of the Year Deji Oshilaja is currently plying his trade at Charlton, along with former Dons loanee Ben Purrington.
Since AFC Wimbledon's reformation, we have met Charlton on nine previous occasions in all competitions. The Dons have won four, lost three, and the remaining two have ended in draws. Click on the link below to watch the highlights from a memorable trip to the Valley in 2016 when Wimbledon triumphed 2-1, thanks to goals from Dominic Poleon and Tyrone Barnett.
Form Guide (last six in all competitions, starting with most recent)
Charlton Athletic DLWLDW
AFC Wimbledon WLWLDL
Don't forget that you can catch all the action from the Valley on iFollow. Match passes will be available for £10 and it will be available to supporters based overseas. Mikey T and Rob Cornell will be providing live WDON commentary on iFollow. You can access live coverage by visiting the Match Centre. If you have any issues please e-mail iFollow@efl.com .
Join George Jones from 2.15 pm for pre-match build-up from the Valley. There will also be post-match reaction on our club Facebook channel, starting shortly after the game, with George and Stuart Deacons offering their views on the match.