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Callum poised to return as Dons gear up to face Hull City

Robbo's update as Wimbledon prepare to take on promotion contenders at Plough Lane

25 February 2021

Head Coach Mark Robinson expects Callum Reilly to add another midfield option for Saturday’s match versus promotion contenders Hull City.

The experienced midfielder captained the Dons to victory at Wigan, but he missed the midweek win at Plough Lane against his old club Gillingham after failing to shake off a hamstring strain in time. Robbo added that Ollie Palmer has made good progress after injury, but he’s not yet ready to return, and young players Jack Madelin and Zach Robinson are also on the comeback trail.

“Callum seems okay,” said Robbo. “I always have to check with Tim (physio) and Chris (Sports Scientist) after training to find out if there has been any reaction, but Callum did the full training session today, so fingers-crossed he should be fine.

“Ollie’s session was modified, but he did 70 per cent and he got through it fine. It was also great to have Jack Madelin and Zach Robinson back, they were both on modified training.”

In recent weeks Robbo has stressed the need to set high standards at training every day as he seeks to breed a winning mentality among the squad – and he wasted no time reminding the players about that today.

“Of course, three points breeds confidence, but if we come into work and the standards are not where they need to be the three points mean nothing because in the next interview I will be talking about why we lost. Three points is great, but it’s always about the day to day processes and the standards and values for every day that we come in. They are footballers and it’s on the training pitches when they should be enjoying themselves on a daily basis. They love their football, so the training is what they should enjoy. We’ve just got to be at it every single day.

“We did some shape work with the starters ready for Saturday. I’m not saying that will be the starting line-up, but we were just going through a few things as regards to Saturday. It was a walk through for those that started on Tuesday and then the lads that didn’t start had a session. Sometimes they don't start how you want and it’s just getting those standards where you want them to be. I keep saying to the lads that if we train at an intensity that’s so high then over time the Saturday matches should start to feel more comfortable. The standards were not where they need to be, but the reaction was good and it was a really good session.”

Of course, Robbo’s academy background at this club means that he’s always got one eye on the future and he thanked Michael Hamilton for arranging friendly matches in the coming weeks. The intention had been for our young talents to gain experience on loan, but that hasn’t happened due to the majority of non league football having been curtailed this season.

“We’ve got talented youngsters here and we have to make sure that their development programmes don’t stop," added Robbo. "Our Academy Manager Michael Hamilton has stepped in and taken control of that, which is brilliant. Mike has arranged five games already for them to play in, which is good. It also offers an opportunity to look at a couple of players that we’ve brought in. That means that everyone will be playing football again. Mike has arranged for a couple of National League managers to come down and watch those games because I think the lads can play at that level. They are young, so people always worry about bringing them into that level of football, but I’m confident they could do it. If not, we will keep arranging these matches, so that they are getting their minutes.”

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