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Club News

Warm-up - Wimbledon

26 April 2013

Fleetwood Town's hopes of a play-off place in their inaugural season in the Football League were finally extinguished by Chesterfield last Saturday.

By David Mitchell

Fleetwood Town's hopes of a play-off place in their inaugural season in the Football League were finally extinguished by Chesterfield last Saturday.

However, there is still much interest surrounding the last game of the campaign as Town make one final long away day, destination Kingston upon Thames.  It is a journey with some bitter memories for the Cod Army as they end their season for the second time in three years at Kingsmeadow. Back in 2011, Wimbledon inflicted a crushing 6-1 defeat on Town, in the semi-final second leg of the Conference play-offs.  Junior Brown and Jamie McGuire both started that night with Scott Davies on the bench and there will be extra significance in the game for those three players. 'Certain lads here will remember that experience clearly,' said Town manager Graham Alexander.  'You do remember things like that in football because it's a personal and emotional game.  As far as I'm concerned I'm focusing on now, not two years ago. We are facing a club who are fighting for their lives in a relegation dog fight.' As many as seven teams are involved in battling for their Football League future and, put simply, Wimbledon have to win to preserve their status. 'We want to win any game we play in,' said Alexander,'and this is as big as any game this season.  We have maintained the workload intensity in training this week and are looking for more of the commitment that we have shown over the last two games.' 'We don't want to do any favours to anyone.  For us, it is all about a responsibility to ourselves, the fans who are making the journey down and those following the game from home.  With all that the game means, there is bound to be a hostile atmosphere but that is the kind of pressure that my players should respond to.' Town have plenty of incentive to end the season with a win after a run which has seen them record just two victories from their last 14 games.  Little has changed on the injury and illness front over the week.  Striker Jon Parkin remains ruled out through illness.  Full back, Dean Howell, only returned to training on Thursday so will not be match fit while centre back Youl Mawene is also still unavailable.  Youngster, Jamie Allen, will travel in the squad. Wimbledon showed their mettle by coming back from 2-0 down to share the spoils at Gillingham last Saturday, the game in which the Gills were crowned champions.  An impressed manager, Neil Ardley, concluded in an interview with Sky Sports: 'Every player has to put in a shift and we will give it everything.  We have come a long way in the last four or five months. If we can put in one more good performance then we can stay up.' A win is essential for the Dons as a goal difference currently standing at -23 means that a draw is not enough.  It is 60 games since Wimbledon were last involved in a goalless draw and their defensive record, 75 goals conceded, is comfortably the worst in the league. Victory for Town would ensure a top half finish as well as having immediate implications for other teams in the bottom seven. The bulk of a sell-out crowd will roar their team on in south west London and it will be an end of term test of character and resolve for Graham Alexander's men.

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