Match preview: Stevenage vs AFC Wimbledon

Stevenage manager Graham Westley

Stevenage manager Graham Westley - Credit: Archant

In a week where Neal Ardley’s AFC Wimbledon have grabbed national headlines for their FA Cup exploits, Stevenage boss Graham Westley’s focus is on his own team and how he can pick up his fourth win in five games.

Wimbledon visit the Lamex Stadium (3pm kick-off) this Saturday in League Two with both teams in good form. The Dons are unbeaten in their last two league games, including a 4-1 thumping of Exeter, and will have their tails up after narrowly missing out on an FA Cup third round replay with Liverpool.

Boro are on an equally excellent run having won three in a row before a brief blip at Morecambe and kept four clean sheets in their last five games.

While it would be easy for Westley to get wrapped up in stories surrounding Adebayo Akinfenwa ‘aka The Beast’ and his team-mates’ FA Cup display, he is instead focused on his own players.

“My focus is on our team and producing goals, that’s where we always try to place our emphasis because it’s the goals we score that will win us the game,” he said.

“We always like to keep a clean sheet - a clean sheet is the trait of a good side - and in order to do that you make sure you think about the most productive assets that have, the roots of their most productive assets to be affective and try to make sure that, when we are defending, we do all we can to make sure they’re ineffective.

“So we’ll do exactly that at the weekend and know how we’re going to keep their threats ineffective and make sure we know how to exploit their weaknesses to the full.”

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Westley knows his side are in for a tough game on Saturday, but doesn’t expect the dogged Wimbledon side that endeared themselves to the TV-watching nation against Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool to be the same that comes to the Lamex.

“Those games are always a little bit false. Sides gets themselves right up for it, of course, and produce more than they would on a day in day out basis,” he said.

“I thought they put in a work-man-like performance, deserved their goal at the stage they got it and at half-time it looked like it could be anyone’s game. In the second half, in fairness, I thought Liverpool looked the more likely to win and it wasn’t a surprise to me to see the ball go in from the free-kick.

“Liverpool probably got in the end what people thought they would, but they put up a sturdy challenge.”

A Wimbledon player who impressed against Liverpool but definitely won’t face Stevenage is striker Matt Tubbs, who joined Portsmouth this week after he was released by Bournemouth.