The New Year will signify new goals for Albanian winger Egli Kaja after he returned to our starting line-up at Oxford United last night.
Although it ended in defeat, it had been over three long years since Egli was last named in a Wimbledon 11 – on that occasion, a 2-2 draw at home to Bury in May 2018.
“For me, personally, it’s a crazy achievement,” said Egli. “It’s been over three years since my last professional start. A lot of lonely times at the park, working hard to get back fit. It’s just very disappointing in terms of the result. It’s a good personal achievement, but at the moment I’m just very annoyed!”
Egli completed three quarters of the game on his return, stepping up his involvement before being substituted midway through the second half at the Kassam Stadium.
“Robbo was really good with me,” said Egli. “This evening was planned. I couldn’t play more than 65 to 70 minutes. It was good to get minutes in. I feel really good, I just need to keep going. We’re looking to increase the minutes and for me to add to the team and start getting goals and assists.
“The next step for me will be to get 80 minutes, maybe 90, you’ll have to speak to Tim (Maynard, physio). It’s not just about me, it’s about the team and all working together – whoever is in the team, whoever is playing – to fight, to get three points on the board. We’ve got a lot of games coming up and we need everyone fit and ready.
“I feel really a part of it with the boys. I feel very comfortable with the staff and players. I feel like I’m at home, which I am.”
Egli acknowledged the efforts of Dons keeper Nik Tzanev for keeping the score down, in what was a tough evening for Mark Robinson’s side, plus also another Academy graduate on the way back from injury.
“Zach Robinson did well,” said Egli. “He’s a young lad who has been training well, so it was good for him to come on, to be fair.
“We’d worked hard in training, we’d had an in-house game as well to keep ourselves fit, but there’s no excuses. We got outplayed and should have played better. We can’t thank the fans enough. We let them down, but we’ll do better next time.”
Pic credit: Ian Stephen (Pro Sports Images).
Watch the full post-match interview with Egli Kaja below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.