AFC Wimbledon handed midfielder boost – as boss Glyn Hodges provides selection update

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Jaakko Oksanen is set to be back in AFC Wimbledon’s first-team fold very soon – with manager Glyn Hodges not ruling the on-loan Brentford midfielder out of their Boxing Day trip to Oxford.

The 20-year-old injured his ankle at Burton Albion towards the end of October but played 45 minutes for his parent club in a B team fixture against Huddersfield.

“He has got back in double quick time, “ said Hodges, pictured left. “Jaakko did well for us. I think he’ll be back in, if not this week then next week.”

Cheye Alexander needed stitches in a head wound suffered in the Dons’ 2-1 home defeat to Crewe on Saturday.

Paul Osew is missing with a knock sustained in the EFL Trophy tie against Arsenal U21s. Luke O’Neill could be back next month after ankle surgery.

“It was a similar injury to Jaakko but he needed an operation,” said Hodges.

“We had the two-week lockdown due to Covid when a lot of our staff and players contracted it, so he couldn’t have the operation done and that put him a little behind.”

Wimbledon have dropped 22 points from winning positions this season. Hodges said: “In the previous two years we struggled to score goals – so the fact we’ve been able to get them this season is a positive.

“But it [relinquishing leads] is something we’re looking at, for sure. It’s happened too many times.

“We dropped two points at Sunderland – we had the best chances – and we looked like the only team who would win it on Saturday after we equalised. That would’ve been an extra three points, which is tough to take.”

Wimbledon’s home game against Wigan Athletic has been rescheduled for January 6 (6.30pm).

PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD


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