THIS Saturday sees the first meeting between AFC Wimbledon and Argyle since the Sky Bet League Two play-off heartbreak in 2016. The Dons came out 2-0 winners at Wembley that afternoon and Argyle will be hoping for a better result this weekend.
After that promotion in 2016, Wimbledon had a successful first season in League One, fighting off relegation and finishing 15th with one of the smallest budgets in the division
The Dons currently sit 18th in Sky Bet League One, with 15 points from 14 games. After successive victories against Northampton Town and Rotherham United, in which Wembley nemesis Lyle Taylor scored a hat-trick, they will be full of confidence.
Derek knows it is not going to be easy but is targeting three points come 5pm on Saturday as Argyle seek to end a run of 12 winless matches, with any thoughts of ‘revenge’ for the 2016 showdown only of secondary importance
“Any game would be good to win, but it’s not for the want of trying,” he said.
“They’ve done well to stay in the division last year and they have picked up some decent results in the last few weeks.
“Lyle Taylor is the one who gives them a platform to play from. He’s dangerous and we’ve known that from the past. They haven’t changed too many players from League Two; they’ve still got a nucleus of a squad there, the likes of Fuller, Charles, Francombe, Barcham, Taylor. So they’ve still got a good number from League Two.”
There is some good news for the Pilgrims as, despite nine injuries, Gary Miller comes back from suspension, although that has provided a selection dilemma for Derek after recent good performances from full-backs Gary Sawyer and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.
Derek said: “We’ve got competition for places in that position on the pitch. Gary Sawyer and [Aaron] Taylor- Sinclair have done really well in the last two games, so it would be a tough decision for me to leave them out.
“[Taylor-Sinclair] has been able to slot in well and that’s what a lot of the players have been able to do; by slotting into the team, it gives them an opportunity to play week in week out. We will see how things go.”
Elsewhere, Remi Matthews is set to become Argyle’s fifth goalkeeper of the season following his move from Norwich City on an emergency loan as Kyle Letheren joins an injury-list that saw Nadir Ciftci, Ruben Lameiras, Luke McCormick, Jamie Ness, Antoni Sarcevic, Ryan Taylor, Robbert te Loeke and Oscar Threkeld absent from Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Blackburn
After a fantastic 415 members of the Green Army made the 600-mile round trip to Blackburn on Tuesday, the Greens will be roared on by a sold out away end on Saturday as just under 800 supporters will make the trip to the south east in hope of seeing Argyle picking up three more points.