Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Big Ben offers defensive boost for Burton trip

Robbo's update ahead of League One away match

20 January 2022

Ben Heneghan has handed the Dons a boost ahead of the trip to Burton on Saturday.

Our consistent defender is poised to be back in contention for the match in Staffordshire after missing the midweek draw versus Portsmouth with Covid-19.

In his update from the training ground, Robbo hinted that Saturday may be a bridge too far for Will Nightingale after playing so many matches in succession since his return.

"The games are coming thick and fast now, and I keep telling the lads that," said our Head Coach. "For example, with Will we didn’t want him to play back-to-back games because of the injury that he had, but the good news is that Ben is set to come back into the frame for the weekend. Everyone’s going to have a part to play, whether they’re starting or coming on."

Robbo added that Egli Kaja is doubtful for the match at the Pirelli Stadium.

“Tomas has been training well but unfortunately he took a whack today, so he possibly might not feature this weekend. Egli has had a slight tweak of the hamstring which might rule him out, but we’ve got plenty of attacking options.

“I’ve also got to look at when I make change. Not only at how we maintain our intensity, but also how we can offer a different kind of threat and maybe think about how we can change formation to add enforced threat.

“Aaron Cosgrave has been on fire today, Terry’s (Ablade) on fire, and so too are Chis (Ethan Chislett) and Dapo (Mebude). Dapo wanted to train again today despite playing the bulk of the game on Tuesday – so I’m confident that once one goal comes, we’ll start flying again."

In his interview with Chris Thorpe, Robbo highlighted the need for his side to get back to the levels they hit when the Dons went on a five-game unbeaten run before the defeat at Oxford.

“We feel that bar Rotherham away we’ve been competitive all season, apart from the enforced three-week break when we had the postponements, which is a period when we dropped below our levels,” said Robbo.

“Since we played Milton Keynes our energy levels have been back up and we’re just looking forward to getting back firing and even improving on the form we showed when we were unbeaten in five.”

Wimbledon have now gone five games without a goal, but Robbo believes that his side will start hitting the back of the net soon.

“We’ve watched both of the last two games back and it’s our decision making in the final third. We spoke to the boys about it today. If you look at the chances with most of them it could be that there’s a little bit of anxiety that is preventing us from making the right decisions.

“There were three occasions against Morecambe where we could’ve found the extra pass and there were two or three the other night (against Portsmouth) where we could have done the same thing, but that’s what happens if you’re a little bit anxious - your decision making can go out of the window. But we’re getting in the right areas, and it looks like we are capable of scoring, so I’m sure once one comes, many more will come.”

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview with Robbo.



The likes of George Marsh and Dan Csoka were key performers for the Dons on Tuesday night as they fought hard for a point against a play-off chasing Portsmouth side under the lights at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, underlining how players can step into the starting eleven at will in order to make a lasting impact.  

“Marshy has gone in there and looked excellent. That’s another bright young player that we have at the club, and then we’ve got Dan who went in the other night and did really, really well – he’s another bright young prospect.

“With footballers there’s always an element of frustration when they’re not playing but they love coming here to work and they’re just itching to get involved.”

With regards to transfers, our business is all but done for the month in terms of incomings but that doesn’t mean we aren’t open to bringing back some of our young prospects from their various loan spells if we feel they are needed, with Robbo outlining his thinking behind that.

“We have to see how long Henry (Lawrence) is going to be out for as for the moment we are left with just the three full backs, so we need to assess that situation once we know the extent of it,” he said.

“We’ve got some lads out on loan who are doing very, very well, so that could be a possibility that we look at.”

As for what is to come on Saturday up at the Pirelli Stadium, our Head Coach feels that we are in a great position to be ready to take on what is an in-form Burton Albion side.

“They’re a bit more expansive than they possibly were last season, they play a bit more but it’s always a physical test, so we’ll be ready for that. We’ve had a good look at them and we’re in good shape and we’re competitive.”

Advertisement block