Incredibly, AFC Wimbledon, written off as dead and buried back in December, when they were bottom of League 1 and 12 points adrift of safety, now, thanks to an incredible run, which culiminated in a victory over Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, saw them rise to the dizzy heights of 19th and 49 points.
The run has been thanks to the now inspired appointment of Wally Downes, who through clever management, and sound, solid work on the leakiest defence in League 1, has guided the club to within 1 point of safety, which can be totally cemented on Saturday with a win, or possibly a draw at Bradford City, themselves already relegated.
Given other teams situtations and current form around them, a point might be enough to secure League 1 status for another season, which would be their 4th in this league.
A win would definitely be enough.
Downes has been clever in his man management, since his appointment by placing the responsibility, rightly so, on the shoulders of the players, saying they had demonstrated standards higher than that he was looking for, which is brilliant because then the players have to keep to those standards, no matter what… & the end result justifies the comments.
Equally, though he hasn’t scored as many goals as he would have liked, James Hanson, has also been managed through a dreadful injury spell and in recent weeks has spent more time on the playing pitch, than the treatment room, and in doing so has provided a great foil for Joe Pigott who has carried on scoring, almost freely, following his own injury troubles.
With these two at the head of a solid looking 3~5~2 Formation, it has proved to be a successful formation, even though it has its weaknesses, compared to a more balanced 4~2~3~1, for Wimbledon and its thanks to this that they have climbed to 19th Posistion now.
Bradford City away, is now their last game of the season and it would be slightly ironic, if James ‘Hans’ Hanson found his scoring boots in that game, to most definitely ensure Wimbledons survival.
That would be a major boost for the Dons, who, would then be moving back to Wimbledon Stadium, as a league 1 club and for the players concerned, would mean they avoid an absolutely unwanted bit of history, by being the first ever AFC Wimbledon team to be relegated as a league club.
Saturday awaits and for the Dons it can’t come quick enough.