BY YANN TEAR
Two-goal hero Scott Wagstaff believes victory over West Ham could provide just the springboard AFC Wimbledon need to turn their season around.
The euphoria of Saturday’s televised 4-2 triumph over the Hammers has spilled over into this week’s training and the man with the biggest beard in football says the aim is to bottle that spirit and use it to claw their way up the League One table.
“It’s been a hectic last few days, but it’s all been good fun and good publicity for the club,” Wagstaff told the South London Press. “The boys have all been good spirits, as you’d expect, and hopefully we can take that into the league and become more consistent. We all believe we are better than the league position suggests.
“There’s an extra spring in the step in training and everyone is bubbling. Our confidence can only benefit after a result like that. It’s definitely one of the best games I’ve been involved in – all the boys were excellent to make it happen, and the fans were superb too.
“The result was down to our new approach under the gaffer. He has got us playing a certain style – pressing teams and getting on the front foot a lot more, to ask questions of our opponents. At times before, we were waiting for things to happen too much.
“We showed just how well we can play, on Saturday, and we deserved to win.
“We will look forward to the next round of the FA Cup, but we know we have to sort out our league position, and we are confident we can take this cup form into the league now.”
Maidstone-born Wagstaff, 28, has never been a prolific scorer – netting 18 in 120 appearances for Charlton and eight in 72 for Bristol City. But he has seven in 22 for the Dons and believes there is more to come.
“It is one of the highlights of my career, for sure. I’ve played in all sorts of positions – right-wing and wing-back – but I loved being in the middle of a three against the Hammers, where you can bomb on and run off players. If you are playing out wide, you sometimes can’t affect the game so much.
“There are definitely more goals in me.
“I’m hoping I can get a bit of a run and some consistency in my game. It’s something we need as a team too.”
One of the other consequences of the cup shock is that Wagstaff agreed, in a TV interview, to dye his luxurious beard in the club colours if they were to win.
“It was just all a bit of banter with the TV ahead of the game. But I will do it, as I promised, though probably not until nearer the next round against Millwall,” he said.
“I don’t know yet whether I’m going to have it all blue or include some streaks of yellow.
“The draw for the next round was obviously not exactly what we wanted. We’d have loved the chance to play against Chelsea or Man United – preferably away – because we don’t get a chance to play against players like that, week-in, week-out, but we do have a chance of progressing.
“It’s a great chance to get into the next round – we’d be one game away from Wembley – but we know it won’t be easy against a strong side like Millwall.”