Struggling League One side AFC Wimbledon have been given fresh hope and momentum after making three loan signings in the January transfer window.
Wimbledon currently sit one spot above the relegation zone in 21st, with the club recognising the team’s poor run of form, having lost six of their last seven and conceded 16 goals in those fixtures.
The Dons Trust board member Graham Stacey was adamant that the new loanees – goalkeeper Sam Walker, George Dobson and promising Leicester City youngster Darnell Johnson – will help the injury-hit side turn a corner.
Stacey said: “Our long-term strategy is to get rough diamonds and polish them but we’ve brought a few people in who we think will improve the squad here and now.
“We have the youngest squad in the league and the idea is to have youth developing alongside the more experienced players and that’s where the injuries have been a big hit.”
Wimbledon have had a number of players injured during the first half of the season, amongst the absentees being key defenders Luke O’Neill, Ben Heneghan and Terell Thomas, who provide experience and defensive solidity.
O’Neill has now returned to the side whilst Heneghan was reportedly back in training this week, giving the team a much-needed boost of confidence to go alongside the new signings.
The club is also believed to be in the search for one more permanent signing before the window closes on 1st February.
Such transfer activity comes following club CEO Joe Palmer’s announcement last week that he couldn’t be prouder of the fans who made up for ticket revenue losses by purchasing non-refundable season tickets and debentures.
Palmer said: “It’s by sticking together that we will overcome the odds once again. We will fight all the way. We are Wimbledon and that’s what we do.”
Stacey cited the fans’ effort as key in making January acquisitions whilst still operating within the club’s means.
He said: “Our amazing fans bought the season tickets with the knowledge that they probably wouldn’t be able to come to games in person.
“Because of them raising around a million and a half we have a bit more of a budget for the January window.
“At the start of the season we were able to put together a decent squad with what some would call a relegation budget.
“We’ve been spending less than others for many years now and we aren’t going to rip our long-term strategy up because of a few bad results.
“You never had the likes of Vinnie Jones complaining that we were at the bottom of the budget table, they just got on with it and rose to the challenge.”
You can read more about AFC Wimbledon here.
Featured image credit: Kirk Pritchard