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Robbo cautiously optimistic with captain's return

Skipper Alex Woodyard was back out on the grass on Monday

1 February 2022

Midfielder Alex Woodyard was back outside doing straight line running on an eventful day at the training ground on Monday.

The midfielder picked up a hamstring injury in our recent game at Burton Albion and was expected to be ruled out for at least a month, but Head Coach Mark Robinson is being careful about his captain’s return.

“We’ll see,” said Robbo. “He keeps telling me he’s ahead of schedule. I’m waiting to hear from our physio Tim Maynard with regards to that, but it was great to see him out there running.

“Tim always seems to err on the side of caution. When he said four weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes down a bit, but I quite like that he errs on the side of caution because then I know what I’m working with and anything a little bit earlier is a bonus.”

Tonight’s game against Cheltenham may come too soon for defender Paul Kalambayi and his return from injury, although still ahead of schedule himself having initially been expected to be ruled out until much later this month.

“PK is very close now,” said Robbo. “I believe he could be in contention by the end of the week, so that’s a real positive.

“Henry Lawrence and Aaron Pressley are still ruled out, but pretty much everyone else is good. I’ve had a chat with Ethan Chislett, because he’s had a couple of games now where he’s had a slight reoccurrence, but he seems okay as well. We’re in good shape and looking forward to it.

“I wanted to get Tomas on (as a substitute against Shrewsbury on Saturday). It’s been tough, because we’ve got quite a lot of choices at that end of the pitch. He’s a young man that really excites me. He’s got wonderful technique and I just wanted to give him a taste of it. I just asked him to be patient and he is. In training he does some really good things.”

Wimbledon came out on top, winning a seven-goal thriller 4-3, when we last met Cheltenham in the FA Cup in early December at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

“I’d love a goal fest even more in our favour!” said Robbo, “Michael Duff (manager) has got them really well organised and on a similar sort of form as us, picking up a lot of draws. He’s got them really well structured, and you can see that from their results, as they’re giving very little away. We’ve got to be at our attacking best, but also not lose our structure.”

Our Head Coach was speaking at the end of a long day at the training ground, having successfully added goalkeeper Nathan Broome and striker Sam Cosgrove to our squad before the transfer window slammed shut. It had also been a year since Robbo took over as coach, initially on an interim basis.

Watch an extensive interview below with Mark Robinson, before tonight’s home game with Cheltenham Town, via our official YouTube channel.

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