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Double fitness boost for the Dons

Defensive duo bolster Mark Bowen's options as we head to Fleetwood

22 April 2022

Defenders Paul Osew and Dan Csoka gave Manager Mark Bowen a double fitness boost, ahead of Saturday’s big game at Fleetwood.

Both sides need the win in the battle to retain League One status, and our travelling squad has been bolstered with the return of the defensive duo.

“Dan and Paul trained for the first time on Thursday,” said Mark. “They both came through the session okay, so they will be ready for selection and in the frame for Saturday.”

“I’ve got a labral tear in my hip joint,” said Dan. “It’s quite common in footballers, but it’s not too serious because it’s not a muscle or tendon injury.”

“With me, it was patellar tendinitis,” explained Paul. “I had a very sore knee and couldn’t even run; it was that painful. I got an X-ray and luckily there was nothing to see, just bruises and swelling. I’ve trained, felt a bit sore, but all good.”

Mark also offered a glimmer of hope regarding skipper Alex Woodyard, who left Easter Monday’s draw with Wycombe on crutches due to a calf injury.

“We’re still assessing it,” said Mark. “It sounds like a cliché but let’s see if he is a quick healer, then I’m sure he’ll be pushing himself to be in the frame for the game on Saturday. I’ve already said to Woody that even if he doesn’t make it, he’s going to be on that train and that coach travelling up with us. I feel in the short time that I’ve been here that it’s a tight unit and all hands on deck for the weekend.”

Watch the latest interview with Mark Bowen and highlights of Thursday’s training session below, via the video link to our official YouTube channel.

However, we will have to do without the attacking options of Zach Robinson and Aaron Cosgrave.

“Zach’s season is finished,” said Mark. “He had the hamstring injury and although with those sorts of things there’s talk of four weeks, and I’ve seen and had worse, but even that timescale doesn’t give him any time to recover.

“Aaron is certainly out of this weekend. Then you’re going into next week and the fact that he’s been out for that long. Really, in my mind, I’ve ruled him out of the last game against Accrington as well.

“My rhetoric to the players is to not think so much about the second game. First and foremost, it’s one game, it’s a cup final or a semi-final – whatever you want to call it. We’re going up to Fleetwood and we’ve got to try and get the job done on Saturday.

“It’s important not to get wrapped up in the occasion of the game. Yes, it’s a game we’ve got to win. It’s also a game I feel that Fleetwood have got to win, so it balances out. We’ve just got to make sure that we go there with a game plan, we work to that, and we’re calm in the way we assess it. I believe if we do our jobs right, like we did on Monday, then that’ll be the platform we need to go and get the result.”

After another tough training session, watch what happened when Assistant Eddie Niedzwiecki put our attacking options through their paces and also raised a few smiles!

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