James Hanson on the pressure lifting after first Dons goal and wanting to start at Blackpool

BY MARK RITSON

James Hanson admits his first AFC Wimbledon goal was a huge release –  and that his start to life with the South Londoners has been a struggle.

The 30-year-old scored a fine 20-yard strike in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth.

Hanson, signed from Sheffield United in the summer, had missed the last three League One games.

He said: ”It’s nice for me to get that weight off my shoulders and now keeping fit is the main thing and contributing on the pitch in what way I can.

“It’s been frustrating for me so far here with all the little niggles.

“It’s funny because the header I had from Jake Jervis’ cross [against Portsmouth], I feel if that had been after my goal I would have probably buried that as well – that’s what confidence does.

“I am capable of scoring goals like I did, it’s just getting those chances. Before I got injured I felt like I was getting a run in the team, feeling fitter and getting chances again.

“I’m the only one who can keep fit and work hard in the gym. I feel fine now, but it’s up to me to keep strengthening all my muscles, because it’s easy to lay off all that once you’re back fit.

“But now I just want to help in any way I can, getting on the end of crosses and putting myself around.

“I want to start games. I wanted to start on Saturday but I know the gaffer has 11 to pick, and that’s the attitude to have, to try and make an impact and give him a selection headache.

“That’s the ultimate goal when you’re not in the team. Hopefully I have done that and can carry on for next weekend.”


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