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“Great to give young lads opportunities”

Reaction to today’s defeat

18 November 2023

Johnnie Jackson focused on the positives after today’s 1-0 loss to Wycombe Wanderers as he handed yet more opportunities to a cluster of young Dons.

Academy graduates Justin Clarke, Junior Nkeng and Kai Jennings were all involved off the bench for a much-changed Wimbledon side – with the former making his professional debut at the age of 15, making him our youngest ever player to feature at senior level.

It was a positive moment for those of a yellow and blue persuasion, whilst in the game itself we also showed some bright moments in the second-half.

Here Johnnie discusses the defeat and provides his reaction to giving more young prospects a chance.


It was a really close game. We came here looking to win despite being through. It was a valuable game for us in terms of getting minutes into lads coming back from injury. It wasn’t the outcome we wanted or the outcome we deserved.

We had some moments, we missed the penalty and I feel like their keeper has pulled off an unbelievable save at the end – I don’t know how he kept that one out! We would have deserved a draw on the balance of play.

Our shape was a lot better in the second-half, we had looked a little disjointed in the first half an hour. We won the ball in better areas during the second and broke off our shape. There were a few moments where we counter attacked well. Ironically we conceded in the period when we were on top.

The response to the goal was good and we ended the game pushing hard for an equaliser with three young kids on the pitch.


It was a fantastic moment. It’s great as a coach to give young lads opportunities. Junior Nkeng and Kai Jennings have already had little tastes of it. Justin Clarke got his opportunity today – he trained with us yesterday, we had to take him out of school! The lads have been great around him and he’s one we have really high hopes for. They were all bright when they came on, it’s fantastic for the Club.

PICS: Stephen Flynn (Pro Sports Images)

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