October 13, 2012
Defensive poser for Ardley's first game
Team Stat Comparison
|AFC Wimbledon||Cheltenham Town|
|Goals for *||1.2||1.0|
|Goals against *||1.5||1.5|
|Last 5 home||W-D-L-W-W||L-D-W-W-W|
|Last 5 away||D-L-L-L-W||L-W-L-L-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: AFC Wimbledon | Cheltenham Town|
New AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley has inherited a host of defensive injury problems ahead of his first game in charge against Cheltenham.
Dale Bennett, who last week extended his loan spell from Watford, remains doubtful with a back injury while skipper Mat Mitchel-King (back) and fellow centre-halves Pim Balkestein (groin) and Callum McNaughton (knee) are still out.
Right-back Curtis Osano is still struggling with an ankle problem, midfielder Stacy Long is battling to overcome a foot injury and striker Jason Prior continues his recovery from last season's broken leg.
Former Wimbledon defender Ardley, named successor to long-serving boss Terry Brown on Wednesday, could opt to stick with the side which beat Plymouth 2-1 last weekend under caretaker manager Simon Bassey.
Cheltenham boss Mark Yates also has a defensive crisis ahead of the trip.
Yates has failed in a number of attempts to land a loan player in time for the weekend after some poor defensive displays.
The Robins chief slammed his side's performance at the back following Tuesday's defeat to Oxford in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Skipper Alan Bennett serves the final game of his suspension while youngster Harry Hooman has been loaned to non-League Bath. Yates took the decision after Hooman's showing in midweek but his exit leaves him short of options.
"I'm trying to get someone in but I'm not getting the right answers from my club and other clubs,'' he told BBC Gloucestershire. "I've had a chat with Harry. I think he needs to go out and get a month's worth of games, where he's playing Saturday and Tuesday.''
Keith Lowe is expected to slot in alongside Steve Elliott while Yates' search for new faces continues.