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Match Previews

Triple boost for Dons ahead of Gillingham

Captain expected to be back in contention for Saturday

22 February 2022

George Marsh, Luke McCormick and Aaron Pressley are all in our squad for tonight’s trip to Gillingham, with a further trio of players set to return on Saturday.

Marsh (foot) and Pressley (hamstring) have both recovered from injuries to play a part in the League One meeting at Priestfield, with McCormick having served a one-game ban which ruled him out of the weekend’s match at Bolton Wanderers.  

“Aaron trained really well,” said Head Coach Mark Robinson after Monday’s session. “It’s good to have him back and he’ll be available for the bench. He’s only built up 45-50 minutes with Brentford, but he will be available which is really good news.

“George didn’t do all of the session just in case he took another knock. He’s going to be fine, but we didn’t want to risk him taking another whack on something that’s already sore after Saturday.

“Luke will be back from suspension and I expect him to have a big influence. We’ve got to wait until Saturday for Ayoub (Assal). Not a lot has changed but on Saturday we’ll have lots of players back, so it’s about regrouping and how we get the win tonight.”

Along with Assal’s availability after a two-game suspension, Robbo hopes to have midfielders Alex Woodyard and Jack Rudoni to count on too for the weekend visit of Doncaster Rovers.  

“We felt that tonight will be a little too early for Rudi,” said Robbo. “We can’t risk him coming back and then breaking down long term. He should be good for Saturday.

“Again, Woody is desperate to come back. Again, I have to listen to our medical team, because they also have an eye on the long term. Gillingham will come too soon, but I expect him to be fully back in contention for Doncaster.

“He’s working really, really hard and we just feel that he needs another day. He’ll be in on Wednesday and building himself back up for Saturday.”

Robbo isn’t looking to make radical changes to the way we play, but he is working on the support we give in our link-up play to new striker Sam Cosgrove.

“When you’re creating and want to build something for the future, you have to stick with it – but that’s not stick with something blindly," said Robbo. "It’s about finding ways to make sure how our style of play is more effective.

“We’ve got to make Sam as effective as possible. It didn’t happen on Saturday, but against Sunderland he had a good game. We need to get more support to him in different ways. That’s not just getting people closer to him, that’s getting better quality into him so that he can do what he does, especially in and around the penalty area.

“We’re fully aware of where we are falling down, where we need to get better and where we need to get players more effective in key areas."

You can see the full interview with our Head Coach Mark Robinson via the video link below, to our official YouTube channel.

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