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Will on his return and bouncing back after cup exit

Experienced defender eager to help us get back on track

9 January 2022

Will Nightingale was in reflective mood following our FA Cup exit yesterday after he made his return from injury – and our centre back called for a reaction from his team-mates.

Of course, it was a day to forget all round for everyone of a Wimbledon persuasion as we suffered defeat at the hands of Boreham Wood, but there was a real positive with Will making his return after being out since October.

“On a personal note, I have worked really hard to get back, but I just want to be out there helping the boys, helping the club, and I don’t want to let people like Robbo down. That’s how everyone feels.

“I’m over the moon to be back but I want to win games, I don’t want to lose them. I’ll look at myself and do what I can to be better.”

Will was introduced in the 57th minute as Robbo and his staff tweaked the system of play in an attempt to get the Dons back on track. However, our defender is adamant that both he and his team-mates simply didn’t do enough throughout the 90 minutes.

“There’s always a thought process behind everything we do. We started with a different formation because we wanted to hurt them down the sides,” he explained.

“We then changed system during the game and there was a small spell when we started to apply good pressure, but if we’re being honest with ourselves we need to do more to create chances. They weren’t troubled too much and we’ve got to be better. Everyone in the dressing room will say that.”

Over 1,000 fans backed the Dons at the LV Bet Stadium yesterday as part of a sell-out crowd and Will was quick to acknowledge that the team needs to do more for our supporters moving forward.

“There was such a good turnout from the fans, they sold out their allocation and I think we have got to be honest with ourselves – we’ve got to do more for them really,” he confessed.

“The fans are so passionate about this club, and I believe we are as players as well, but we have got to start showing that on the pitch. Today was disappointing and we know we can be better.

“I believe we’re an honest group, people will hold their hands up when they’ve done wrong. That’s what we need to do – dig each other out but in the right way in order to be positive.”

Looking ahead to what is an increasingly congested schedule of fixtures - featuring a series of home games back at the Cherry Red Records Stadium - Will was quick to suggest that the squad are capable of bouncing back and repeating some of the fine form shown earlier this season.

“We’ve shown in spells this season how good we can be, so we just need to get that consistency back. In football, it’s all about reactions, so it’s time to show a bit of character and bounce back.

“I believe we’ve got the quality to bounce back. The schedule is going to be difficult for us, but we need to make Plough Lane a hard place to go when its rocking. We know the fans are always behind us and we’ve got to use that as an advantage.”

You can watch the full post-match interview with Will below, and Robbo’s post-match reaction.

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