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Right-back’s return boosts options for Crawley clash

In-depth round-up of team news

17 March 2023


Right-back’s return boosts options for Crawley clash

In-depth round-up of team news

17 March 2023

Johnnie Jackson received a boost ahead of Saturday’s visit from Crawley Town with the return to action of Huseyin Biler.

The defender took part in final preparations in New Malden earlier today and is available for selection, having recovered from a hamstring injury.

“It’s great to see him back out there training, but he’s been out for quite a while and the temptation will be to throw him straight back in,” said Johnnie. “He was a big part of the successful run of results we were having. He was playing regularly and playing well.

“We’re keen that we don’t lose him for any longer than we already have for this season. We’ll manage his return sensibly, but clearly, we want to put the strongest teams that we can out there to try and win games, so we must have that in mind too.”


A further defensive reinforcement is on the way, with Lee Brown also nearing a return from a hamstring strain, but not in time for this weekend.

“Browny is getting closer, but he won’t make it in time for this one,” said Johnnie. “He’s stepping up his rehab and we hope to have him back out on the grass and with the group maybe next week.”

However, Johnnie will make decisions on defender Alex Pearce and striker Josh Davison closer to kick-off against our Sussex opponents, who we beat in the away fixture and in the group stages of the Papa John’s Trophy earlier this season.


“Pearcy came off late on in the draw at Newport in midweek with a groin issue,” said Johnnie. “It’ll be a late call whether he makes it for the game. We have to weigh up whether it’s worth taking that risk with him.

“We’ve got Will Nightingale there, who came on for him. We’ve also got Luke Jenkins back from his loan from Hampton & Richmond and in addition to that Isaac Ogundere has now returned to us from Dartford. We’ve bolstered our options back there."


“Josh had a little issue from training, and he had to miss out on the Newport game and it’ll be a close call again if he is involved at the weekend. He’s a massive part of what we do and a mainstay of the team. If he doesn’t make it, he’ll be a big miss.”

We will be missing Paul Kalambayi though, who has joined Harry Pell and Diallang Jaiyesimi on the injury list.

“PK is looking at a period of time out with a knee issue,” said Johnnie. “He’s been nursing it for a while now. We were managing to get him through games by managing his workloads in training. It’s become unmanageable now, so he’s going to miss out.”

You can see the full, pre-match interview with Johnnie Jackson below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.

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