BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley is hoping to have striker James Hanson back available for Saturday’s home game against League One leaders Portsmouth.
The summer signing from Sheffield United has missed the last three matches with a hamstring strain.
Hanson, 30, has yet to score for the Dons in 11 outings.
The South Londoners have failed to score in their last two games and dropped to 20th in the table after a 1-0 loss at Plymouth on Saturday.
Portsmouth stayed top despite a surprise 2-0 reverse to Gillingham at Fratton Park – their first reverse of the campaign.
“I’d like to think he [Hanson] will be back next weekend,” said Ardley. “Hopefully he’ll train this week and be in contention for Saturday.”
Wimbledon beat Portsmouth 2-1 in the EFL Cup in August.
“We had a bit of swagger and belief from our performances earlier in the season and the friendlies for us to know we were a good team,” said Ardley. “Results since have beaten a little bit of that [belief] out of us. We have got to try and get that back. If we get that back, we can be a good team again.
“There is not bundles wrong with performances. I’ve not seen too many teams where I have thought they are miles better than us.
“The fans who travelled down [to Plymouth] are not happy but it’s margins that are hurting us at the moment. We limited them to not much until the last 10 minutes when we were chasing the game. We had two or three good chances and have not taken them – it’s the story of our season.”
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