Ethan Chislett edged closer to a first-team return by completing 45 minutes for our Under-23 squad at Stevenage yesterday.
The attacking midfielder, who has missed recent matches due to an Achilles tendon strain, played the whole of the second-half.
Academy Manager Michael Hamilton, who took charge of the team, said that Ethan looked sharp and added energy after his introduction. Dan Csoka and Zach Robinson also maintained their fitness by completing 90 minutes. The young Dons lost the match 4-1 with Jack Madelin on target.
Despite those positives, Michael expected better from a Wimbledon team, and he was far from happy with the overall performance.
“The Stevenage staff were very complimentary about our performance and they couldn’t believe they had won, let alone the score-line,” said Michael. “However, we need to take responsibility for the reasons why we lost. We didn’t take the responsibility required to organise and give ourselves a structure to play off. Yes, we can look at the chances we created and the possession we had, but that is pointless if you leave yourself open at the back.
“The trialists (as well as signed players) need to recognise that they are trying to achieve one of the hardest objectives in the world – to become professional footballers. Though it’s good having ability on the ball, there needs to be determination and character to compete when you don’t have the ball, plus the tactical awareness to adapt to changing game situations. Our opponents should be praying for the final whistle to come, but we made it too easy for them.
“Two of Stevenage’s goals came after we lost possession and another came after we won the ball high up, but then gave it away again. The fourth goal came after we failed to compete for the first or second ball from their goalkeeper’s kick up the field. The boys were bitterly frustrated at the end, but the more senior players led the debrief. That is a positive, but communication has to happen to change matters during the game. A real positive aspect is that we had a couple of young academy prospects making their U-23s debuts, and they will be better for the experience.”
AFC Wimbledon: Oualah, Biler, Csoka, Madelin, Currie (Lahan 45), Bolton, Stephans (Trialist 60), trialist, (Fisher 30), trialist, Chislett), trialist, Robinson.