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Match Previews

Anthony returns to the squad for Ipswich game

Robbo's rallying call to the Dons fans ahead of tonight's match

25 January 2022

There's a welcome boost for the Dons tonight with Anthony Hartigan poised to return.

Ahead of the visit of in-form Ipswich Town, Mark Robinson is backing our young players to shine under the lights.

“In these times, you really need the fans in the face of adversity,” said Robbo. “They’ve been fantastic, and we’ll really need them. The boys will already be really up for it, but it’ll be great to have the fans behind us because that's what we’re all about. It’s a little bit up against the odds and the boys will be champing at the bit to put in a performance.”

Hartigan’s return from stomach pains a fortnight ago comes as welcome news. Defender Henry Lawrence, midfield partner Alex Woodyard, and striker Aaron Pressley are all ruled out due to hamstring injuries. With top scorer Ollie Palmer having also departed for Wrexham, it will need others to step up for the challenge.

“Ant is back in the squad,” said Robbo after Monday’s training session. “Because he hasn’t trained a lot, we’re not sure how he’ll react because he hasn’t done anything in a while. He was in hospital and had tests, but everything seems to have come back negative. It might be too soon for him to start, but we’ll have to see.

“George Marsh has been fantastic. With Ant going out and George having come in, he took his opportunity, so there’s always positives. Losing Woody certainly isn’t that, but we need to work hard so that our form doesn’t dip.

“Dan Csoka was excellent for us when he came in and if I don’t go with Will (Nightingale), then he will be back in there. He’s another young and exciting prospect for us. Whatever the case, we will be ready and raring to go.

“Paul Kalambayi is not too far away. We’re waiting to hear back fully regarding Henry Lawrence, but we think we’re looking at the six-week mark. It’s disappointing again with Henry, because he was a real asset to us, but you just have to deal with these things."

Tonight’s game could mark the return of our Player of the Year from last season Joe Pigott, who is now with visitors Ipswich. He scored from the penalty spot in the 2-2 draw between the two sides at Portman Road earlier this season.

“Joe hasn’t been starting,” said Robbo. “We’d love to think he’ll get a great reception and we look forward to seeing him. They’ve got threats, I think they’ve got six or seven forwards to choose from. They play with a real fluidity, so we need to get lots of things right to nullify them and at the same time concentrate on what we’re good at and get our free-flowing, exciting football back as well.”

You can listen to the full preview of Tuesday night’s game with Head Coach Mark Robinson below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.

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