New AFC Wimbledon manager Wally Downes: Dons look better on the front foot


Wally Downes reckons his AFC Wimbledon side are more suited to being on the front foot after his watching brief only lasted a little over 45 minutes in midweek.

The new Dons manager came down from the dugout after Chelsea U23s went 2-0 ahead at Stamford Bridge in the EFL Trophy.

Downes brought on Anthony Wordsworth and he reduced the deficit before being red carded for a late challenge.

“There’s no way I could have prepped the team quick enough – Simon [Bassey] and [Alan Reeves] Reevesy did that,” said Downes. “But I certainly wanted an input.

“What I got from it is that we are a better team on the front foot. You don’t discourage teams from being patient and building things up but I looked at the team and thought we were much more productive and creative by playing on the front foot.”

Downes’ first game in charge will be tomorrow’s home game against Rochdale. The Dons are seven points adrift of League One safety.

“It’s not insurmountable,” said the new Wimbledon chief. “Win Saturday and everything changes – all of a sudden you have a little bit of momentum.

We got beaten on Tuesday night [in the EFL Trophy] but we’ve had a couple of cup wins.

“They’ve shaken off the doom and gloom of the eight defeats on the trot.

“There certainly isn’t a gulf between what there is and what needs to be done – it’s not a case of starting again.

“I’ve got a couple of trialists in. I’ll certainly be looking to improve [in the January transfer window] but I’ve got to be wringing the best I can out of the players that are available at the moment.”

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