CHARLIE Strutton looks set to remain on the bench for AFC Wimbledon’s date with destiny this weekend.
The Dons take on Fleetwood Town this Saturday knowing that three points will secure League Two football at Kingsmeadow for another year.
Jason Prior returned from his loan spell at Dartford and was thrust straight into the starting line-up against Gillingham at the weekend.
Strutton came off the bench to play a pivotal role in Wimbledon’s second-half revival against the champions at Priestfield Stadium.
Given his contribution against the Gills, it would seem harsh for boss Neal Ardley to keep Strutton in the dugout at Kingsmeadow for Saturday’s crunch clash.
However, the Dons chief sees the former Chalfont St Peter frontman as an impact substitute and is unlikely to start with him against the Cod Army.
He said: “We still feel Charlie’s best impact is as a sub, with 20 minutes to go, using his energy. We went with the physical presence [of Jason Prior] to handle what we thought might happen in the game [against Gillingham].
"We felt if we kept it tight then it might come down to set-pieces and long throws. It didn’t work out that way.”
Prior had not started a League Two game for the Dons since April 2012, when he suffered the horrendous leg break that has disrupted his Kingsmeadow career.
The tall striker only managed to find the net once in a nine-game loan spell at Blue Square Premier Dartford, however Ardley defended his decision to throw him in at the deep end at Gillingham.
He added: “Jason trained really well all week. He looked a yard sharper than at any time since the injury and he did well while he was out on loan. We looked at the game and looked at them, a big physical side, and he had done well during the week.”
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