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Match Previews

Rob Tuvey looks ahead to the trip to the North East

In-depth interview on our preparations for Saturday from the training ground

19 August 2021

Wimbledon will have a fully fit squad to choose from when they visit the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland in League One on Saturday.

Assistant Head Coach Rob Tuvey praised the work Sports Scientist Chris McConnell and physio Tim Maynard for keeping the Dons “robust and resilient”, having made an unbeaten start to the new season.

“We’re all fit and well again,” said Rob. “It’s credit to the medical and sports science staff as well. The work that they have done to make sure that all the way through pre-season that not only are we robust and resilient, but we look fit as well now. Credit to Chris and Tim.”

Having gone close to claiming all three points against Gilingham at Plough Lane on Tuesday night, the Dons head to the North East coast in a positive frame of mind, as we aim to add to our early season points tally against Lee Johnson’s Sunderland. They're just a couple of places above us in eighth position and a point better off, after three matches.

“I think in the first-half it was a bit of a cagey game on Tuesday,” said Rob. “Probably we edged it if I’m being honest. We dominated possession in the second half, and we showed that we were a real threat going forward. I was really pleased with the performance.

“Obviously, the goal at the end was a bit of a sucker-punch to us, but overall, when we look at the process and where we’re at – we’re really happy with how we played on the night and hopefully we can take that forward in the coming weeks.

“Paul Kalambayi was immense. I think the way that he was commanding against a physical approach was brilliant. He’s a real leader in this squad and I think people won’t see the work that he does off the pitch and he’s a real leader in our changing room and someone who is growing as a leader and a person all the time. He’s been magnificent so far this season.

“Sunderland had made a good start to the season and the other night they had a blip. We know that we’re up against tough opposition and we know the sort of areas that we can hurt them and the areas that they can potentially hurt us as well.

“We’re not going there to look for a point or sit behind the ball. We want to go there and really put our mark on both with and without the ball. We’re excited to go up there, but I think fans will start to see that we want to try and implement our style on every game that we play, and it doesn’t matter where it takes us.”

Rob paid his respects to 28-year-old supporter Jack Lonergan, who sadly passed away after attending last Saturday’s historic game against Bolton Wanderers at Plough Lane.

“I’d like to send my condolences to the family of Jack Lonergan,” said Rob. “He’s certainly in our thoughts and his family are in our thoughts. Anything we can do as a club to help them at this time – I’d like to say please feel free to get in contact with us and we’re really sorry for your loss.”

In a comprehensive interview from the training ground, Rob Tuvey also spoke about –

  • Trialing a Substitutes Coach and the positive results it has already achieved
  • Olympic gold medal winning rugby sevens coach Ben Ryan working with the Dons
  • An update on two young players returning from injury, as part of our loan strategy

You can hear the full, in-depth interview with Rob Tuvey, ahead of Saturday afternoon’s game at Sunderland, by clicking on the link below – via our official YouTube channel.

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