Switching to the flank brought out the best in Ryan Longman at Sunderland – and the 20-year-old forward says that he’s making ‘massive progress’ at Wimbledon.
The on-loan Brighton forward has scored five goals since joining the Dons and it was almost six when his shot thudded against the crossbar at the Stadium of Light. That came after he was handed a wide role by Glyn Hodges – and Ryan is loving the challenge of playing League One football.
“I like playing winger, as well as striker, so anywhere across the front I’m happy to play, and wherever the gaffer needs me I can do a job there," said Ryan, who has already scored twice at Plough Lane. "Pigs is a good lad, and I’m really enjoying playing up front with him. It’s definitely a good partnership.
“The matches are just completely different at this level. In Under-23s matches you go into each game knowing that there’s going to be a lot of passing out from the back, but at first-team level you never know what’s going to happen. In this league you’ve got balls flying over your head in one match and then in the next you’ve got teams playing on the floor. Each team plays differently.
“It’s absolutely lovely at Plough Lane. The pitch is spot-on and the ground is great. I could just imagine that if we had fans it would just make it a proper good stadium for us to play in.”
In-form Crewe Alexandra are up next at our new stadium on Saturday – and it’s a challenge that Ryan believes the Dons are capable of overcoming.
“Crewe are a team that can play with the ball and have different options in terms of causing problems, but I think if our shape is right we will deal with it, and get the three points hopefully.
“After two bad league defeats I think we can look at the last game and take lots of positives from it, and move forward. We could have come away with the three points.
“I’m making massive progress, it’s been a good loan so far, and I’m learning a lot from each game. I’m getting a lot of game-time, and experience of men’s football. I’m being taught little things just to improve my game, and I’m enjoying it here.”
The full interview with Ryan is below.