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“We don’t fear anyone”

Our manager reacts as Dons hit scoring trail again

19 December 2023


“We don’t fear anyone”

Our manager reacts as Dons hit scoring trail again

19 December 2023

Johnnie Jackson was understandably delighted after seeing a much-changed Wimbledon side stun League One Portsmouth 5-2 in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

In the midst of a gruelling schedule the Dons’ boss made 10 changes to the side which drew 0-0 at Salford City on Saturday – however it mattered little as we once again showcased our strength in depth.

Our side gave the hosts a torrid time all evening, pressing the Pompey backline into numerous errors as we took full advantage to net five times through Aron Sasu (first senior goal), Josh Davison, Alex Pearce (first goal for the Club), Harry Pell and Ali Al-Hamadi.

Here Johnnie reflects on our five-star performance, gives his views on the goals and looks ahead to facing Oxford United in the round of 16.


It couldn’t have gone much better – aside from conceding two goals, but that’s being really picky! We could’ve scored more, our play deserved more from it. As mad as it sounds after scoring five, we should have won by more. It was an outstanding performance from our team. To come here and do what we did against a team that’s flying in League One is something I’m delighted with.


He was brilliant in pre-season, he forced our hand to keep him around the group. His chances have been limited in terms of his involvement of late but what I’ve been waiting for is that. I’ve been on at him about a goal. For someone as good as he is, it’s taken too long to come because when he has come on he’s had chances to score. I’m buzzing for him tonight, I thought he was a menace all night. The way he got at them and was direct with his play, he was such a threat, he’ll remember this one for a while.


He was brilliant. I think we could go through one to 11 and say that. Josh gave Ryley Towler a tough time – we know how good Ryley is and we loved him here but Josh has let him know that he’s in a proper game. He was a constant threat on the shoulder, he took his goal great and could have scored more. He’ll be the first to admit he could have had more.


To be fair to Pearcey he can finish! If you watch the drills in training he gets amongst the goals. He’s a wily old fox and he was really calm in that moment. Someone with less experience might snatch at that but he was cool and he trusted his technique. It was a really good finish.


I thought he was key to the midfield unit alongside Charlie Lakin and James Ball, they were all equally outstanding. Pelly was another menace on the night, picking up space between the lines, aerially as a threat and then topping it off with his goal. We all thought he was going over the wall but he tricked us all including the keeper. It was brilliant from Pelly, that’s three games in a row that he’s made an impact. A lot of boys who got their chance have taken it tonight. We made changes and it looked like a Wimbledon team.


We picked a really strong bench knowing that there would be a need for change at Portsmouth. They had a period when they got themselves back into the game. There was a spell when they looked like they were getting on top and then the changes we made helped us. We regained control and finished it in control. If anyone was going to score again it would’ve been us.


Honestly I wasn’t really looking past tonight. They’re amongst the highest ranked teams left in the competition, another in League One. I said to the boys that on our day we are capable of mixing it with anyone. We’ve shown that constantly, we’ve done it at Stamford Bridge, we’ve done it here tonight – we don’t fear anyone, we want to go as far as we can in this competition.

PICS: Graham Hunt (Pro Sports Images)

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