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Johnnie in pursuit of further Dons signings

New manager keen to add to defensive duo

8 July 2022

Johnnie Jackson’s time is currently split between working on the training ground and on his mobile, as our new manager looks to bolster his squad further.

Alex Pearce was joined by former Reading teammate Chris Gunter (pictured below) at today’s training session, ahead of our second pre-season friendly at Eastbourne Borough on Saturday. With the start of the new League Two season just over three weeks away, the experienced duo are set to be joined by further additions.

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“I’m not going to put a number on it, but there is a fair few I still want to get through the door,” said Johnnie. “We’ve got our specific targets, as in names, and we’ve got our specific targets as in positions we want to fill as well.

“We’re working really hard on that, tirelessly. Once I get in off the training pitch, I’m back on the phone and digging deep to get those deals done, but obviously still making sure they are the right ones for the club.

“There’s been opportunities where perhaps we could have got someone who was further down the list, perhaps wasn't first or second choice. It’s a bit of a waiting game to get those ones you want though and I was patient in getting Chris Gunter. Whilst I’m quite aware we need to get bodies in and the season is coming around soon, it’s a trade off between getting the right ones you need, in the right positions who are the right characters, but clearly the days are ticking away and we’ll be into it before too long.

“Things are getting moving now in July, whereas last month it was perhaps quieter. I expect we can get some business done real soon.”

Having spent most of this week away in Cheshire, making good use of the facilities at Mottram Hall, Johnnie outlined his plans for tomorrow afternoon’s game at National League South side Eastbourne Borough.

“It’s more minutes in the legs,” said Johnnie. “I’ve done a lot of work on what I want the team to look like, in the past week at Mottram Hall and touching on it again today. For me, it’s important I see some of that coming out. It’s not going to be perfect at this stage, but I just want to see the guys trying to implement some of the things we’ve been working on.

“It’s still a bit of an extension to our training. We’ll probably be giving players 45 minutes, although a few of them maybe doing a little bit longer. We’ll be really ramping it up after that, going into a Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday schedule.”

Watch the full update from Johnnie Jackson below, via the link to our official YouTube channel. 

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