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Match Previews

Key players return for the run-in

Johnnie hopeful on popular midfielder being ready

21 April 2023

Match Previews

Key players return for the run-in

Johnnie hopeful on popular midfielder being ready

21 April 2023

Johnnie Jackson is hopeful of having Harry Pell to call upon for our penultimate home game against Swindon Town tomorrow afternoon.

Our manager is gradually seeing players return from injury and the midfielder may not be the only one who could come back into contention, after a week of training at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

“We’re hopeful on Pelly,” said Johnnie after Friday’s training session. “He’s been training this week. You can’t miss him out there! He’s a larger-than-life character, really vocal and brings a lot of energy and spirit to the group. That’s something that we have missed, massively.

“His experience and influence on the group is huge and hopefully we can call upon that on Saturday.

“Huseyin Biler and Ethan Chislett are also getting close to returning. Those boys have been involved in certain sessions this week. We’ve had to dip them in and out, because they are just coming back from injuries, but we’re hopeful that they can play some part.”

Although we’re unlikely to see Forest Green loanee Armani Little in action again this season, after he suffered a hamstring injury at Stevenage last weekend, the outlook is possibly better than initially first thought for the midfielder.

“That’s hopefully the diagnosis he had from the specialist yesterday,” said Johnnie. “It can be managed conservatively and hopefully he won’t need surgery. It’s a big blow for him personally and for me as a manager and for us as a club.

“He’s been outstanding for us, with the attitude that he has shown. You don’t always know what you’re going to get from a loan player and how much they are going to be committed to the cause, but he has given everything for Wimbledon.

“I’m gutted for him, having played pretty much every minute of every game since he has come in. To lose him so late is going to hinder us in the last three games, but more importantly, looking at him, we feared the worst on Saturday night and Sunday morning. It looks like it’s positive news now though and hopefully he can do his rehabilitation and be back in time for pre-season.”

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Swindon are just above mid-table, but they come to Plough Lane off the back of a 1-0 win in midweek over play-off contenders Bradford City.

“I was there to see that,” said Johnnie. “They are a decent side and they’ll be coming here in a buoyant mood, but we’re ready to go and give them a proper game.

“We’ve had a really good week’s training, culminating in today. The energy and the spirit out there amongst the boys showed me they are raring to go for this game and we know we’ve got to be at it.

“There are three big games to go. That’s three opportunities for all the lads that are picked to go out there and show what they are about and showcase their talents. That’s what we’re trying to encourage them to do.

“Let’s take care of business, let’s do our job and then we haven’t got to worry about the end of the season.”

Photos: Ian Stephen (Pro Sports Images).

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