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What we learnt: Robbie's presser

5 January 2017

The key talking points from Robbie Neilson's pre-match press conference ahead of the Emirates FA Cup tie with Brighton & Hove Albion...

Baldock back, Bowditch remains out
Robbie Neilson revealed that George Baldock is available after recovering from a hamstring injury which has sidelined him since before Christmas.

“He’s trained the last couple of days. He’s looking sharp I expect him to be involved on Saturday.”

The Scotsman also has no concerns about starting the right-back.

“He was only out for a couple of weeks so there’s no issue in putting him straight back in.”

While it’s good news regarding Baldock, Dean Bowditch remains sidelined with a calf problem, with the striker still a month away from a possible return.

“He’s still recovering. We expected him to be out for six weeks so he’s still got another four to go.”

Glimmer of hope for Scott
Neilson provided an update on the progress of Scott Wootton, who is rehabilitating after suffering a serious knee injury back in August.

The centre-back is almost four months removed from surgery and making good progress, which Neilson hopes could lead him to returning to action before the season’s close.

“He’s progressing really well. I see him every morning working hard, running on the Alter-G.

“I hope we can get him some game time this season. If we can do that then great but it’s important we don’t push him. We need to make sure he’s strong and healthy before all that.”



“To be honest, they have a strong squad. We looked at the weakest side they could put out and they’ve still got a few internationals in there. Whoever comes in, it will be a tough game for us.”

“When they’re in the position they are in, in the Championship their ultimate aim is to get promoted I expect there will be some changes – whether that’s a full team or only some changes I don’t know.

“We’ve been looking at the teams they’ve played in cup matches this season and they have changed the team quite a bit, which I expect them to do (on Saturday).

One of those is Dons boss Neilson but that doesn’t mean the 36-year-old isn’t expecting a testing afternoon.

With Brighton & Hove Albion sitting top of the Sky Bet Championship, many are anticipating the Seagulls to rest their key players this weekend.
Robbie expecting much-changed Seagulls side

“Playing regularly will help the players come together. We would like a cup run and this is an opportunity to try and progress.”

“We’re going to put out the strongest team we can,” he said. “We haven’t got a huge amount of games coming up so the players have the chance to recover in-between.

While their hosts are favoured to make changes, the Dons are going to be at full-strength as confirmed by the manager.
Dons to be full-strength

He answered: “It is an area we’re looking to strengthen. We’re looking to recruit in that area, as well as others.”

That led to a question as to whether those exits hint as to where Neilson may be looking to recruit this month.

The Dons have seen three midfielders depart since the opening of the January transfer window – Samir Carruthers, as well as loanees Ryan Colclough and George C Williams.
Dons to bolster midfielder after departures

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