AFC WimbledonSport

Dons boss: We’ll go full strength for Wigan game – I haven’t got the squad options to do anything else

By Richard Cawley

AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley has injury doubts for tomorrow’s trip to title-chasing Wigan.

The Dons are close to League One safety and follow up Saturday’s tough assignment with a Tuesday night trip to mid-table Doncaster Rovers.

But Ardley dismisses any notion he should favour the latter fixture as the one where his side are most likely to get points to secure their safety.

“Including our younger players and the first-team I have got 12 people who might not be available – I haven’t got the luxury of not putting out the best team that I possibly can.

“There is one week of the season to go and you never know – goal difference might come into it.

“I’m not going to rest anyone or try and be clever. It will be the best team I can put out on Saturday, the same on Tuesday and then also the following Saturday. 

“We haven’t got the players to tinker with things. If we can’t give it everything we have got and play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday with only a week to go then I’d be disappointed.

“Liam Trotter, Jimmy Abdou and Harry Forrester will be doubts. Tom Soares is only 50-50 because he missed last week. Trotts [Liam Trotter] has been carrying a knock for the last five or six weeks but is still running through brick walls for us.”

Ardley was at a club function on Tuesday and was kept updated by supporters on results elsewhere. Oldham lost 3-0 at home to Southend to stay 21st while Rochdale drew 1-1 with Plymouth.

The Dons are two points above the bottom four with a match in hand on all but Walsall below them.

“It was a good night for us as far as it keeps us in a strong position but we have still got to go and do our job,” said Ardley.

“I’m pretty sure the points we have got now isn’t enough to stay up, I’ll be surprised if it is.”

Wigan sealed promotion last weekend but still have work to do to clinch top spot with Blackburn, at Charlton tomorrow, only a point behind.

“Paul Cook will want to win the league,” said Ardley. “They’d have loved to have done that on home soil on Saturday – that might not be possible now. But the second thing is that they will want to get to 100 points.

“They still have that chance and Cooky is a winner, he always has been. In no way, shape or form will Wigan be playing anything other than flat out against us. They won’t be thinking it is Wimbledon and having a jolly-up. They will be trying to blitz us and finish the season in style.”

Wimbledon will finish in a higher position than despised Milton Keynes, who are doomed to drop into League Two.

Ardley said: “You have to worry about your own things until we get ourselves as a League One club again for next season.

“You can’t reflect on a season after 43 games – you only get to reflect 46 games in. Now is not the time to look at anyone else. It’s only when you get over the line that it comes time for reflecting on it all.”

Photo by Paul Edwards

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