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Henry ready to face Crewe after shaking off illness

Robbo's extensive interview with Crewe up next

22 November 2021

Mark Robinson today said that Henry Lawrence is likely to be in the squad to face Crewe after recovering from tonsillitis.

The on-loan Chelsea right-back, who has made an impressive start to life at Wimbledon, missed the visit to Portsmouth after his return from England Under-20 duty, but he’s primed to return on Tuesday night.

In his Monday team news bulletin, Robbo said: “Henry is back from his illness, but I just need to check on him. I’d like to think that Henry will be back in the squad because he seemed a lot better today. 

“I need to check on Darius. He was out doing a bit today, but he just has a few problems with his hip, so I just need to check, but apart from Darius there is nothing new from Saturday in terms of injuries.”

Robbo added that there was also a positive update on Cheye Alexander, whose ankle injury is not as bad as first feared.

“We’ve also had some good news as Cheye was back in the building today,” said Robbo. “He doesn’t seem to think the timing will be six to eight weeks, which is positive, and we’ve had the news that Will could be ready before Christmas. If we get the performances high and start picking up points and then we start getting more players back we can look forward to an exciting new year.”

A real plus from Saturday was the return of George Marsh after seven weeks out due to a broken bone in his foot. Robbo added that fellow substitutes Aaron Pressley and Ethan Chislett also impressed him at Fratton Park.

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up, so there will be minutes for George,” said Robbo. “I was really pleased with him after he came on against Portsmouth as I felt that he gave us fresh impetus. That made their second goal more frustrating because they brought their three subs on quite early, which had shown that we were the dominant force. They made the changes to try and get some impetus and I thought that after five or six minutes it did, but then we brought ours on and I felt that it shifted again.

"I thought if anyone was going to get the winner it was us and that’s what made their winning goal more disappointing. I felt that George, Chis, and Pres did lift it, but then came that moment when we switched off and we had to sort that this morning.”

Paul Osew was arguably Wimbledon’s Man of the Match on Saturday as he filled in superbly as an unorthodox right-back. Robbo believes that Paul will be a real asset for Wimbledon in the future after overcoming challenges since he first broke into the team two years ago.

“This is the perfect example,” said Robbo. “When he came into the side everyone loved Paul Osew and there was a song for him. He’s a young man who came from a lower level into the first-team, but then challenges came his way. He’s no longer the Paul Osew who no one knew about. He became a player who was a threat and teams would look out for him and that presented different challenges. That’s when these players need support. I’m not a holistic guru, but I do know how to coach and develop players so that we get the best out of them. I think we’ve seen that with Anthony Hartigan and with senior players. Woody has told me that he’s playing the best football of his career.

“They are human beings fundamentally and Paul Osew hasn’t become a bad player overnight, but there are things that go on in the mind of a young player and they face certain challenges. Our job as coaches is to build them up and get them back there. Paul can be such a threat, but so much of this game is in the mind.

"These players will definitely come good again. I was talking recently about a young player we had here who is now playing semi pro and apparently he is doing very well – he’s 24 years of age. There is so much that goes on for a young player, as well as a load of nonsense and noise in football that they have to deal with. It’s my job to push them on again and I absolutely have faith that Paul will kick on. I think he showed glimpses of that on Saturday.”

Robbo was speaking during an extensive interview at the training ground today with Rob Cornell. Listen to the full interview by clicking on the link below.

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