Stern Dons test pleases Blues boss

Michael Appleton, right, is talks with Tal Ben Haim before the game with AFC Wimbledon
Michael Appleton, right, is talks with Tal Ben Haim before the game with AFC Wimbledon
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Michael Appleton believes his side’s testing second half at AFC Wimbledon will be ideal preparation for the start of the season next week – if Pompey are there to see it.

The Blues turned in an assured display in the first half, easing into a two-goal advantage through Luke Rodgers and Liam Walker.

But the Dons came out fighting after the break and Appleton admitted he was happy to see his men given a stern workout.

He said: ‘It was an ideal run-out.

‘The performance was very good against Bolton on Saturday but I thought this one was a bit mixed.

‘But it was absolutely ideal going into the league campaign.

‘I was pleased they came back at us because it gives us what we are going to get over the coming weeks.’

Pompey looked like a side who were starting to gel, with some slick passing in the first half that carved the home side open.

Appleton said: ‘For the first 25 minutes, we played really well. We got our lead and deservedly so and we could have had three or four by half-time.

‘But Wimbledon came at us in the second half, they pressed us a lot higher and they could have had a couple of goals themselves.

‘I’m delighted we scored another couple of goals and kept another clean sheet.

‘Since Spain, we’ve scored six goals and haven’t conceded.’