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Squad boost for the Dons with green light for Luke’s return

Update from the manager ahead of Saturday's match at Plough Lane

29 January 2021

Glyn Hodges is pleased to welcome Luke O’Neill back into the squad after he missed the midweek trip to Doncaster Rovers with a thigh injury.

The experienced defender is back in contention tomorrow for the match versus Milton Keynes Dons with Glyn having decided to manage Luke’s recuperation after an injury that kept him out for three months.

Speaking during an update from the training ground today, Glyn said: “Luke is fine. He suffered a slight strain in the Crewe game and it was one of those situations when he could have carried on, but ended up out for another four weeks. It was decided to rest him on Tuesday night, but he has trained for the last two days and he is pleased. He wants to play and it was a hard one to tell him ‘just stay out and get ready for the next game’. There are loads of games for him. Once he understood that, he was quite pleased. Luke is relieved that he’s injury free and fighting fit.”

Paul Kalambayi is ruled out of tomorrow’s match with the injury he picked up after replacing Luke at Crewe. Though Ben Heneghan and Ollie Palmer are making good progress after injury, Saturday will come too soon for them to be back in the squad.

“Ben and Ollie are getting closer,” added Glyn. “It’s good news as they were training next to us today, so it’s just about when they will be ready. Maybe in a couple of weeks both or one of them will be available.”

Our manager added that a meeting was held with the players today to reiterate the commitment he expects in tomorrow’s fixture.

“We’ve had a meeting this morning and though we have a lot of home-grown boys and players that have been here a while, we have some new faces as well," said Glyn. "They are familiar with the history, what this means to the fans, and what it means to everybody, so they are more than ready.

“Anyone who is lucky enough to come and play for this club, or anyone that has anything to do with it, knows the story. If they don’t know it, it’s not long before they are told. They do their homework, see what we stand for, and what we are. It is a special club. While we are privileged to have them, they feel privileged that they are playing for us. It’s an honour to play for this club and to represent the club.

“The fans are missed. We’ve been looking back on performances and we’ve clipped videos from last season. We’ve delivered that to the players and been looking back at stuff - and a packed Kingsmeadow was unbelievable, it was different class. You could hear the atmosphere straight away. It’s like you are playing on another planet with the fans. This is a big one that they are going to miss, but we will just give it our best and hopefully we will do them proud.”

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