Midfielder Ethan Chislett is again ruled out for tomorrow night’s League One game against Burton Albion at Plough Lane (kick-off 7pm).
“Unfortunately, Ethan just isn’t quite ready,” said Head Coach Mark Robinson. “It’s just one of those things we don’t want to make worse because he’s going to be really important to us moving forward. He just needs it to settle down. It’s an Achilles problem and we can’t afford to make it worse.”
Chislett was on the bench for last week’s draw at Shrewsbury, but told our staff in the warm-up that it didn’t feel right. He was also unavailable for Saturday’s draw at Blackpool, as we picked up another vital point in our bid to beat the drop.
You can watch preparations at our New Malden training base for Tuesday's game below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.
Tuesday evening’s visitors Burton are a vastly different side to the one we faced at the Pirelli Stadium back in October. Ryan Longman gave us a second-half lead, but Kane Hemmings levelled shortly after for the Brewers.
Since then, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink returned as Burton manager in January and they’ve been in impressive form – beating second placed Peterborough 2-1 on Saturday – as they’ve escaped the relegation zone.
“They’ve had a big change in personnel,” said Mark. “Their form has been excellent, and you have to look at that. Our form over the last six games has us in joint eighth in the form guide, so we’ve done well ourselves, but we’ve got to kick on from that obviously.
“We look at the opposition, but we try and keep that to twenty percent, because we want to talk about what we’re going to do. We’ve looked at what we believe is their key twenty percent we need to try and nullify and then the rest is about us, so that we can keep building our confidence and get players to feel empowered to perform.
“We go out and do what we do. The three points should come, but if they don’t then we revisit the process. I think anyone can see that there’s been progression, apart from the Hull game where the players went off and did their own things. Even the Peterborough game we were very good in the first half.
“I think Saturday was the closest we’ve been to putting in a ninety-minute performance, but there’s still loads to work on. There are still lots of things we can do better, but that’s the only way it can be with continual progression – not knee-jerk reactions or getting panicky – and keep talking about what’s going to bring about winning performances.”
There will also be game time for those not involved at Plough Lane on Tuesday. Academy Manager Michael Hamilton has arranged a series of development friendlies for the remaining members of the squad, so that everyone available is ready if called upon. Having drawn 2-2 at Eastbourne Borough last week, a Wimbledon squad face an away match against Cambridge United.
“If you want to break into the starting eleven and be part of it, then you need to show what you are going to bring to the starting eleven,” said Mark.
“It will be filmed, which I’ll get a chance to watch, and I’ll get a report back from Mike. The lads have been fine about it, but I need to see them putting in elite performances and see that they genuinely want to get in the starting line-up.”
You can see the full interview with Head Coach Mark Robinson from the training ground below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.