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Johnnie provides Woodyard fitness update

Manager’s verdict after away win

2 July 2022

Johnnie Jackson was quick to bring supporters up to speed on the fitness of Wimbledon captain Alex Woodyard after the midfielder sat out the Dons’ 2-0 win away at Bedford Town.

First-half goals from Luke McCormick and Zach Robinson capped off a solid first pre-season victory for Jackson’s men, albeit without the services of Woodyard for the game at The New Eyrie.

Johnnie suggested that the fitness of the skipper is something that needs to be managed carefully whilst he also underlined just how key the 29-year-old is to his plans moving forwards.

“Woody is nursing a calf injury at the minute,” he explained. “He’s been training in and out but we just need to manage it really carefully. He’s an important player for us and we don’t want to be without him for too long.”

Our manager also provided an update on the fitness of Huseyin Biler and Ayoub Assal, with both players having to be withdrawn from action for precautionary reasons.

“Hus Biler has a knock on his knee so we’ll have to assess that and Ayoub felt his knee during the warm-up. So I don’t think it’s too much to fret about.”

As for the match itself, there were some good early signs that the Dons are getting to grips with Johnnie’s preferred style of play, with a large cluster of Academy graduates certainly standing out throughout the 90 minutes.

The obvious highlights were the two well-taken goals from McCormick and Robinson as Wimbledon looked to get in behind the home side’s defence at will – with the gaffer highlighting the good habits on show from his side.

“It’s important that your attacking midfielders get into the box and score like Macca did,” he said.  “The same goes for Zach as well. We could have had more. If I’m being ultra-picky we could’ve been a bit more ruthless and won by more goals.

“Overall it was a good performance. It was important to get 45 minutes into the legs for all the players. It was good to see some of the things that we’ve been working on in training being put into practice. There’s a lot to work on still but it was a really good runout today.”

PICS: Lucy Dixon

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