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Match Previews

Johnnie could give new Dons signings their debuts

Team news for the trip to Bradford City

2 February 2024

Match Previews

Johnnie could give new Dons signings their debuts

Team news for the trip to Bradford City

2 February 2024

Our three new additions this week are all in the squad for tomorrow’s League Two game at Bradford, but we will be without a couple of key personnel.

New striker Josh Kelly and on loan defenders Kofi Balmer and John-Joe O’Toole could figure in West Yorkshire. However, centre-back Joe Lewis and captain Jake Reeves are both set to miss the match at the University of Bradford Stadium. 

You can listen to everything Johnnie had to say below, and a summary of the interview is also in written form.

“John-Joe's signing was completed really late last night, so he hasn’t trained with the group yet,” said Johnnie Jackson, after today’s final training session before departing for Bradford. “He’ll meet us at the hotel, and we’ll have a catch-up and see where he’s at with his training and fitness.

“Kofi and Josh both trained with the group so they'll come into our thoughts, about whether they start, or whether we use them from the bench, but they’re definitely part of our plans.”

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Skipper Jake Reeves missed our Bristol Street Motors Trophy Quarter-Final at Peterborough in midweek, while defender Joe Lewis had to come off injured.

“They’re both struggling to make this one,” said Johnnie. “Joe hurt his knee in the game, so he’ll have a scan on that, and we’ll see what that looks like. Jake felt his hamstring towards the end of the Mansfield game last Saturday.

“He didn’t recover in time for Tuesday and probably won’t recover in time for Saturday, so we’ll also have to see how long we’ll be without our skipper.”

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Ryan Johnson and Josh Neufville both remain sidelined and although we’ll be missing a couple of other defenders through suspension, three players do return to the squad.

“Alex Pearce and Omar Bugiel both trained and they come back into our thoughts,” added Johnnie. “Omar has recovered from a dead leg. Tuesday came too soon for him, but he’s trained at the back end of the week. Pearcey has been training for about a week now. 

“Huseyin Biler is on the second of his two-game ban in the league and Paul Kalambayi has been given an extra game this morning after his hearing. John-Kymani Gordon couldn’t play in midweek because he was cup-tied, but he comes back with the group now as well.

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“We’re missing a few, there’s no getting away from that. We’d gone so far with having a really good injury record and unfortunately in the last couple of games we’ve lost key players, but we’ve also bolstered the squad as well. That provides opportunities for other people.

“Bringing John-Joe in late last night is another good bit of business because he can play in a couple of different positions. He’s experienced, and he knows all about the league. He’s certainly been there and done it, and he’s definitely going to help us in this period.”

You can listen to full coverage of the game, with commentary from our Radio WDON team, by purchasing an audio match pass from iFollow Dons.


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