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  • By Yann Tear

Hodges sees plenty to cheer him after Day-Inspired draw for AFC Wimbledon

Dons boss Glyn Hodges believes the clean sheet and point gained against Ipswich Town will renew belief that his team have what it takes to beat the drop.

Wimbledon posed few problems going forward against the promotion-chasing visitors, who are among the favourites to go up from league One this year, but they defended manfully for a 0-0 draw.

It was a fine response to Saturday’s disappointing home defeat to Fleetwood Town and keeps the south Londoners six points clear of the drop zone.

“Wins come hard and draws come hard but keep the scoreboard ticking over and we did that again tonight, said Hodges. “Since the 21st of September we’ve only been beaten at home twice.

“That was definitely a point gained. Ipswich have just come down from the Championship with aspirations to go back up and they’ll be there or there abouts, so to keep a clean sheet – and we don’t keep many – that was definitely a point gained.

“I felt that every player, to a man, put blocks in, put their head in, doing the ugly side of the game and a few grew up out there today.

“It was a physical game. There were a lot of long balls we had to deal with and they showed courage on the ball and courage off the ball. The character was magnificent because they [Ipswich] are a good side, they put you under pressure.

“We don’t worry about the league. We don’t worry about what’s below us. I keep saying we look upwards.

“It’s a massive result. One that we can take great confidence from and a similar performance will be needed on Saturday against [league leaders] Rotherham.”

In describing what he felt was a ‘top. Top performance’ there was one player he knew deserved to be highlighted and that was keeper Joe Day, making only his fourth appearance since making a loan switch from Cardiff City.

It was the 29-year-old stopper’s first clean sheet and his safe pair of hands – in the air as well as shot-stopping – did much to ensure parity.

“Joe was tremendous. He was the stand-out,” the Dons boss said.

“He has been in and around the Cardiff side fighting for the number one spot. I think he didn’t have many games after having lots of games the season before, so it’s probably taken him one or two to get back in the swing of things.

“But he’s an experienced goalkeeper, one who has played in this division and the division below and knows the game.

“I don’t like to keep on about how young we are but it’s sometimes nice to sprinkle a bit of experience and that’s why we brought him in. He made some good saves and it calms everybody down.”

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