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Bassey: Charlie "work in progress" Strutton needs game time
AFC Wimbledon assistant coach Simon Bassey labelled Charlie Strutton as a work in progress needing match-time, something that cannot be guaranteed at the Cherry Red Records stadium.
Despite signing a new contract in the summer, striker Strutton has been playing second fiddle to the in-form Michael Smith, and his appearance off the bench in the 2-0 defeat at Chesterfield on Saturday, was the 24-year-old’s first in League Two this term.
Last season, Strutton hit the back of the net three times in 17 appearances – all coming in the two FA Cups clashes against York City.
Bassey said: “Charlie is a quality player, which is why we renewed his contract over the summer. We have no intention of letting him go permanently.
“But he needs game time, and while the development squad here is great, it is not the high level of football he needs to bring his game on.
Hot stuff: Michael Smith, here scoring in the 3-2 win over Scunthorpe United last month, has been the first choice up front for AFC Wimbledon SP73011
“He is a work in progress and he needs game time, something he will struggle to get here.
“He’ll be going to a conference club, so he can be sure of a high level of football.”
The 2-0 defeat at League Two leaders Chesterfield on Saturday was the Dons first in four games, and the Spireites boss Paul Cook lavished praise on his worthy opponents.
He said: “Great credit to Wimbledon, who came here and made a game of it.
“It shows the commitment of our players, where [goalkeeper] Tommy Lee’s made some outstanding saves.”
Bassey said: “It is always nice when other managers say these things, but it is easy for him to do that when he’s won 2-0.
“I would rather he spoke about us disparagingly and we’d got all three points.”
He added: “But it was always going to be tough going to Chesterfield, they are the benchmark of where the best teams are in this league.
“The stats show they were better than us on the day and we were not good enough.
“There is a gap between us and them, we just need to make sure that gap is smaller the next time we meet.”
The Dons are still without Charlie Sheringham, Kevin Sainte-Luce and Will Antwi due to injury, meaning the side that hosts Burton Albion on Saturday is likely to be the same that lost at Chesterfield.
Injured: Kevin Sainte-Luce, left, remains on the treatment table at AFC Wimbledon and will miss this weekend's visit of Burton Albion SP73011
Bassey said: “It has always been our primary goal to get to 50 points as quick as possible, and we believe we have the squad to do that.
“We had a big clear out over the summer and brought in some new names, which have worked well so far.
“Burton will be a tough game, they all are at this level, but we have to get to that 50-point mark. From then on, we will have to wait and see.”
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