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Match Previews

Johnnie to make late calls on Dons duo

Team news for the visit of Doncaster Rovers

10 November 2023

Match Previews

Johnnie to make late calls on Dons duo

Team news for the visit of Doncaster Rovers

10 November 2023

Johnnie Jackson will make fitness checks on Ryan Johnson and James Ball before naming his side for the visit of Doncaster tomorrow, but we’ll still be without Harry Pell.

“Johno has done a bit of work at the back end of the week,” explained Johnnie after Friday’s training session in New Malden. “He hasn’t done a load of training, and he had that knock (to his knee) from the previous league game, so that will be a late call. Hopefully we can get him involved.

“Again, it’s touch and go with Bally. He came off on Tuesday with a really sore toe. We’ve had it x-rayed and it looks like he's going to be given the all clear. It’ll be about the pain. He was in too much pain on Tuesday to get through the game unfortunately. Knowing him, that would have to be something really causing an issue for him to come off.

“Harry Pell is unlikely to be involved. He’s struggling with an issue at the moment, which is not overly serious but does need resolving. He’ll miss out.

“Everyone else is in contention. Everyone is in good form and wants to play. I’ve got decisions to make on who starts, who is on the bench and who gets left out. That’s where we’re at with plenty of competition for places in a big squad with lots of quality – tough decisions for me!”

Listen to the full interview with Johnnie and read a summary of the key points below.

With the news that next weekend’s game has been called off due to international call-ups, does tomorrow take on extra significance as we won’t play in League Two again for a fortnight?

It’s another game we want to try and win. I think it's important that we get back to winning ways in the league and finish the week off with three home wins. That would be really good, it would give us a better feeling going into a two-week gap without a league game, for sure.

I don’t think it takes on any greater significance, as we have to try and win all our games. Sandwiched between Doncaster and Notts County we’ve got the last Trophy group game at Wycombe so after Saturday we’ll turn to that. We want to have a go and try to finish off what would be a perfect week.

PSI_MA_Doncaster_Rovers_v_Harrogate_Town_05Aug23_033 McCAnn.JPG

Doncaster Rovers come to us in 17th place, do you pay much attention to the table at the moment?

Not too much. I know their manager Grant McCann and his assistant Cliff Byrne really well. I know how they operate and that they’ll have their team well drilled. I’ve had some great games against those guys in the past, some real hard-fought contests. Their teams are always up for it, so we’re expecting a tough one – regardless of where they are in the table.

"They’ll be well organised and looking to get after us - on the front foot. They’ll be proactive and we’ll be in a game. We fancy ourselves, whoever we play at home. We want to impose our style onto the game, but they've got things that can cause problems and we’ve worked on that in the week. We’ll speak about how we can exploit them as well. Knowing those guys, Grant and Cliff, we’ll be in for a proper game tomorrow."

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Our fans were really pleased with our transfer activity in the summer window - how are the foundations coming along for January?

That started the moment the window closed in the summer. We’re constantly looking and reassessing our squad. We’re looking at what's out there and we're looking at the market and making lists that we update regularly. Once a week we’re having recruitment meetings and that will ramp up this month and in December.

"We need to be ready to strike – not on January 31, but on January 1, if needs be. Like I’ve said, all along, who we add is important, but it’s also about not losing players as well and coming out of that window stronger than we went into it."

Photos: Pro Sports Images.

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