The Dons on Saturday head for Burton Albion with manager Glyn Hodges demanding a ‘nasty streak’ from his players in the pursuit of points.
Though pleased with recent performance levels, Glyn wants the squad to show more resolution and get the points that recent displays deserve. The Pirelli Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Wimbledon in previous seasons, but six-and-a-half years ago provided a particularly fond memory. On 15 March 2014, Darren Jones struck an equaliser in the eighth minute of injury-time to signal ecstatic scenes in the away end as we celebrated our annual Volunteers’ Away Day in style!
Below are quotes from both managers ahead of Saturday’s match, plus stats, and a look back at previous matches.
“Even though they are bottom of the league they can go on and win two or three and end up in the top half, so that’s the league we are in at the moment. We just have to take care of business ourselves. It’s just an opportunity to go and play. We enjoyed it on Tuesday and we are enjoying our away performances, probably more than at home at the moment, but we know Burton are a good side.
“It’s a funny league because of the situation this year. Championship clubs carried on playing (last season), you’ve got teams like Fleetwood and Oxford that were in the play-offs, so they carried on playing, and other teams didn’t come back all at the same time because of the furloughing. At the moment, there are some strange results out there. Having said that, we’ve been full value for every result that we’ve picked up. We just have to make sure we are better at set-pieces and become a nasty team in that department and learn from the lessons we received on Tuesday night. We just need to get that nasty streak in us and start getting some more points.”
“It’s my job to make sure that morale is good within the group. You do have to lift them at times but there is no one walking around training sulking, nobody with their head down. At this moment in time they are still chomping at the bit.
“The results haven’t gone the way we would have wanted and there is no hiding away from the fact that we have to step up to the challenge. We have to role our sleeves up and be ready for the fight, and I’m sure that the lads I put out there on Saturday will do that.
“Kieran O’Hara was a positive (on Tuesday versus Rochdale) and he probably deserved a clean sheet. Sam Hughes and John-Joe O’Toole performed to a good level and Stephen Quinn did well. Kane Hemmings again put a shift in and Indiana Vassilev was a threat on the flank, but in other areas the lads aren’t exactly nailing down a shirt and it’s up to the other lads in training to be ready to go when that opportunity comes and they then take that chance.
“We are going in the right direction in terms of the goals we are conceding and now need that clean sheet. We need to make sure we implement our game plan and to do our jobs on set plays. It’s a big couple of weeks with games coming thick and fast in the rest of October. Rochdale has gone and now it’s a massive weekend for us. Ultimately, results have to improve and we need to get points on the board.”
Burton are old adversaries with the two clubs having me on plenty of occasions during non league days, before the first league match between the clubs in 2011. The Dons have won 18 matches against Burton from 1964 until 2020 with nine defeats and six draws. On 23 August 1975, the Dons started the defence of the Southern League Premier Division title with a 4-0 win at home to Burton at Plough Lane with a double from Mick Mahon and strikes from Ian Cooke and Billy Holmes. Almost 37 years later, the start of AFC Wimbledon’s second season back in the Football League was blighted by a 6-2 defeat at the Pirelli Stadium. There was a much happier memory of a visit to the same venue on 15 March 2014 when Darren Jones struck an equaliser in the eighth minute of injury-time! It signalled raucous celebrations in the away end on a day when we celebrated AFC Wimbledon Volunteers’ Day. Take a look at the highlights from this match below.
AFC Wimbledon 2-2 Burton Albion (29 January 2020)
The Dons came from behind twice to earn a point with goals by Mitch Pinnock and Callum Reilly. Take a look at the highlights from that match by clicking on the link below.
Glyn Hodges confirmed that Ollie Palmer will be in the AFC Wimbledon squad for the first time after putting a groin operation fully behind him. Ethan Chislett will also be back in contention after missing the trip to Hull City with concussion. For Burton Albion, Jake Buxton is hoping that Ryan Edwards will be fit after missing Tuesday’s game against Rochdale. The midfielder is the only injured player to have a chance of returning. Reece Hutchinson is making progress from his foot injury, but it’s still too soon for him to feature, and Charles Vernam is still probably a couple of weeks away. John Brayford and Michael Bostwick are facing longer lay-offs. Both players have grade two tears that are likely to keep them out until well into November. Brayford’s is a quad injury and Bostwick has a calf problem.
Last time out
Burton Albion 0-1 AFC Rochdale
Hull City 1-0 AFC Wimbledon
Form Guide (last six in all competitions, starting with most recent)
Burton Albion LDLLLL
AFC Wimbledon LLWLLW
You can stay in touch with events at Burton by watching the game on our iFollow channel. Buy a match pass for £10 to watch the match live. Our WDON commentators Mikey T and Rob Cornell will be providing live audio commentary on iFollow.