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Match Previews

Dons to make late call on captain

Team news ahead of this evening’s match

20 February 2024

Match Previews

Dons to make late call on captain

Team news ahead of this evening’s match

20 February 2024

Skipper Jake Reeves could make his return to our line-up for the visit of Crawley Town tonight.

The midfielder has made 32 appearances for us since his summer return to the Club from Stevenage, but has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury since the 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on January 27.

“We’ll make a late call on that,” said Assistant Manager Terry Skiverton after Monday’s training session at our New Malden base. “He looked fighting fit out there. Jake is very close to returning.”

Listen to everything Terry had to say, plus watch Ashley Bayes put Alex Bass and Nik Tzanev through their paces below.

Forward Josh Neufville (back) is stepping up his return to full training this week, while centre-backs Ryan Johnson (ankle) and Joe Lewis (knee) continue to make progress in the gym.

“Josh did a little bit more with us and we’ve got the other two who will be coming back soon. Even today we had a little game for when everybody is back fit of ‘what’s your team?’ It’s good to have these types of characters back, as it will make us even stronger.

“Ryan is now walking around out of the protective boot and Joe is out of the bigger leg brace. It’s really important that they’re still around the dressing room for every home game. They’re desperate for us to win and are really good team members. Just because you’re injured doesn’t mean you can’t come and support the lads.

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“They’re teammates you can rely on. They’re all desperate to get back, but we have to be patient and do it right.

“There are no fresh injury concerns. There was a tinge of disappointment with drawing the game against Morecambe on Saturday, because we felt we were very dominant and limited them to only a couple of chances. However, we’re in a good place and we’re back on the front foot out there.”

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Manager Johnnie Jackson will be in the technical area at Plough Lane this evening, having been dismissed when we won 2-1 in West Sussex in December. That left Terry as the senior figure on the touchline to see us through to victory.

“I didn’t enjoy it at all, to be honest!” said Terry. “The manager was in the changing room and we were mic'd up and he was able to see footage of the game in there.

“It was a bit of a frantic end to that match as it included a sending off for Joe Lewis - we thought that was harsh - a goal that was disallowed, and we hit the inside of the post. It became a bit of a big finish to the game from Crawley.

“I know their manager Scott Lindsey very well and they’ll come to us well organised and he’ll have them right at it. It’ll be an important game with a rivalry about it, but we’re at home, under the lights at the Lane, and we need to make sure that we put in another good performance.”

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It’s becoming increasingly tight in the battle for play-off places, with so many teams still very much in with a chance of claiming a prized place in the top-seven.

Terry added: “There are a lot of teams in and around us, so it’s very tight. Crawley are four points off us and with a game in hand. It’s a very important game for both teams really.

“There will be a few teams trying to use us as a marker in the table to try and catch and overtake. We’re looking at teams above us and trying to overtake them, so that we get that elusive play-off spot we’ve been chasing so far.” 

If you’re not able to be at the game tonight, you can still watch all the action after purchasing a video match pass - with full coverage from our Radio WDON commentary team - by clicking on the link below. 

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Photos: Pro Sports Images.

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