Wimbledon Fan Preview

Ahead of Sunderland’s home fixture on Saturday, @MattyCrichton spoke to AFC Wimbledon fan Chris from @9yrspodcast, who answered our questions regarding our upcoming League One opponents.

Wimbledon currently sit bottom of League One, 8 points from safety - is there still belief amongst your supporters that you can avoid relegation?

Kind of depends who you ask...I'd say there's a 50/50 split between yes and no. The mindset has definitely changed over the last few weeks, since new manager Wally Downes was put in charge. There as a definite lethargy in the team toward the end of Ardley's reign and coupled with some, ahem, "iffy" buys, didn't make for good football. If we carry on at this tempo, who knows? But we need snookers at the moment.

Under Wally Downes you have performed inconsistently in the league, what has he changed since joining Wimbledon?

Wally brought a bit of a bounce - 2 defeats in 8 when he started - sadly the Barnsley & Fleetwood games put a stop to that. We are playing better and actually having a go at teams, trying to win instead of trying to not lose, if that makes sense. And he doesn't sugar-coat things - if we play shit, he'll tell us!

In a huge upset, Wimbledon beat West Ham 4-2 in the FA Cup last week, do you think it is the worst time for Sunderland to play yourselves after such an emphatic victory?

It's tough to say either way - if we play like we did on Saturday, then maybe, yes! If, however, the team that played against Fleetwood show up, then it could get embarrassing.

If you had to pick 2 or 3 players from your team, who will cause Sunderland problems during Saturday’s match?

I reckon, if he starts, Dylan Connolly could surprise with his pace, he caused the West Ham left back a few headaches. It'll take something special to beat Ramsdale in goal (if you can see the Barnsley highlights from a fortnight ago, it'll be point proven) and Will Nightingale is turning into a brilliant defensive mid, who will hunt you down...

Sunderland enjoyed a successful transfer window signing the likes of Grant Leadbitter and Will Grigg - have Wimbledon signed anyone who you think will make a huge impact?

So out whole window we signed 5 players (which some of our fan base have forgotten, as only two came in yesterday) - Aaron Ramsdale, young keeper on loan from Bournemouth, has already shown he is excellent - we've yet to see Seddon (Brum loan) really (injured), Dylan Connolly from Ireland could likely outrun Usain Bolt and on his first start v West Ham was a MOTM candidate and then yesterday bought in McClouglin from Ipswich (U23, don't know much about him) and a lad from Watford on loan, Fivoli, another young chap, and we don't know much about him either. We must accept we are bargain basement/Poundland when it comes to transfers - we just haven't got £4m spare.

It is the first time under your new club that you will be visiting the Stadium of Light, how good does it feel to be back in the Football League after having to start all over again?

Another milestone reached, the non-league years were great fun, but after being stuck at Ryman level for three seasons, we really wanted to get back. When we got to the play off final in 2011, we endured 90 mins plus ET against a very strong Luton side then won on penalties. The feeling of knowing we'd so nearly come full circle and had proved the FA so very wrong, is one that can never be replicated. Great times.

Are you excited about the prospect of moving into a new stadium next season and what will be the capacity?

It's been a key part of our drive (and yet another point proven about how crap the whole MK debacle and its reason for being was), so we're all excited… The capacity will start at 11,000 (up from a current 4,800) and the ability to develop to 20,000 in the future. More than enough for us.

Lastly, if you had to give an honest prediction, what do you think the score will be at full time on Saturday?

My head says 2-1 or 3-1 your lot, but heart says we'd nick it - and heart wins!