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Interviews

Simmo’s update: Dapo to have late fitness test

Promotion-chasers Wigan up next for the Dons

22 October 2021

Dapo Mebude’s fitness will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s home match, as the Dons gear up to face a Wigan Athletic side flying high in the promotion race.

An update from James Simmonds included the latest on Dapo after the forward missed the midweek win at Lincoln due to illness.

“Dapo didn’t train with the team today, but there is still a possibility that he will be involved tomorrow," said James. "He will have a late fitness test, but apart from him everyone else involved on Tuesday is fit and raring to go.”

Simmo versus Doncaster.jpg

James, who has been a part of our first-team coaching staff since the summer after joining us on a secondment from Chelsea, talked about his role with us and steps taken on the training ground to improve the squad.

“I am the eye in the sky! I just get a different perspective of the game (from the stands). When you are down at ground level you can’t necessarily see everything in terms of shape, so I feed information down to Rob Tuvey, and then the messages get passed onto Robbo. Normally I will be looking at if our back-line is in the right position, or if there’s anything we can do to exploit the opposition.

“I have loved every minute of my time here. I feel a part of it, and I did as soon as I walked through the door. Everyone has been fantastic. Not only have I enjoyed it, I’ve learned so much because the environment and the culture here is fantastic. Certain bits to do with how training is conducted, and Robbo’s man-management style, will stick with me as a coach.

“In particular, during the past three or four weeks we have really focused on elite behaviours, making sure as a collective that we are doing everything together as a collective, including communication, concentration, and ensuring that we are up to the Wimbledon standard. We are seeing that transfer into games. We are reflecting a lot as staff and players. From our one-on-one chats we are looking at ways where they can polish up and improve, but we are certainly moving in the right direction.”

On the task of facing Wigan at the Cherry Red Records Stadium tomorrow, James added that players and staff are relishing the challenge ahead.

“We know they are a different side to us,” said James. “They have an average age of 27, compared to our average age of 21 or 22. They have recruited well and invested well with players coming in from the Championship and top League One clubs. They are a club certainly looking to go up and it will be a challenge for us, but we are ready and looking forward to it. We know they’ve got good players, including Charlie Wyke and James McLean, but we are confident going into the game, and there are certain areas we know we can exploit.”

Click on the link below to listen to Rob Cornell’s full interview with James Simmonds.


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