AFC Wimbledon boss: You always pick players to face their former clubs – it was a big factor in my team selection for Gillingham

BY DANIEL MARSH

AFC Wimbledon manager Glyn Hodges provided some insight into how having a number of former Gillingham players influenced his team selection for their away triumph in Kent.

Goals from Joe Pigott and Callum Reilly saw the Dons end Gillingham’s 15-game unbeaten streak – but Pigott and Reilly were just half of the ex-Gills contingent who were in the Wimbledon line-up as Luke O’Neill and skipper Scott Wagstaff also made their mark against their former employers.

When asked if he saw any extra motivation from the former Gills players in training ahead of the fixture, Hodges lifted the lid on his take.

“You always know when you pick a team that you always play ex-players against their old team,” explained the Dons manager.

“So that was in the forefront of my mind. I moved Scott Wagstaff into a different position where I thought he’d thrive, and he did – he was tremendous. That’s how you do it. You know as soon as that whistle goes and they come back here that they’re gonna give that extra five, 10 per cent.”

The players in question came in for some stick once the game began from Gills fans, but Hodges insisted that it was nothing sinister and nothing more than a part of the game.

“You come here and that’s what happens,” said Hodges.

“To win is nice – we’ve got a lot of former [Gillingham] players here. Scott Wagstaff, Callum Reilly who got the winner, Luke O’Neill and Joe Pigott so it’s very satisfying when you can come to your old club and win and even score the winner.

“For Callum to score the winner, the way he did with his right foot, it’s great. He’s got a few goals for us now Callum, so it’s been a good day.”

PICTURES BY PAUL EDWARDS


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