The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Sam Elliott

DEAN PAR­RETT is des­per­ate to be AFC Wim­ble­don’s mid­field imag­i­na­tion fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of Jake Reeves.

Dons fans are con­cerned about the club’s lack of cre­ativ­ity af­ter Brad­ford City ac­ti­vated the mid­fielder’s re­lease clause last month and they lost the in­tel­li­gent 24-yearold to their League One ri­vals.

Reeves’ wizardry will be missed but Par­rett is the next best thing and the en­er­getic at­tacker, when he plays, is the club’s main source of sup­ply.

But since ar­riv­ing at Kingsmeadow from Steve­nage a year ago, the 25-year-old hasn’t been a regular starter.

With Reeves gone, sup­port­ers ex­pected him to fill the void but he only made the bench against Scun­thorpe on the first day of the sea­son.

Par­rett did start on Tues­day night against Brent­ford in the Carabao Cup first round and hopes he has done enough to be­come a regular se­lec­tion.

“It’s all about stay­ing pos­i­tive and try­ing to be­come an ev­ery-week player,” said the former Tot­ten­ham youth player.

“I would have loved to have played with Jake ev­ery week, but he’s gone now.

“I hope I can be the spark this sea­son, I hope I can play as many back-to­back games as pos­si­ble.

“It’s down to the gaf­fer who plays, he picks the team, but I’ve got to try and keep work­ing hard and when I am picked, be ready.

“I need to be play­ing well to ce­ment a place, I know that.

“I had one small in­jury is­sue last year but apart from that I was fit.

“It slowed me down quite a bit but I want to play as much as I pos­si­bly can. I’ve al­ways been a 30plus game a sea­son player, and I think I still can be here.

“I’d love to play ev­ery week but I’ve got to make the most of the chances when they come along.

“There’s a lot of tal­ent in our mid­field, the gaf­fer has brought in some good play­ers and there are a few that are al­ready here.

“It’s healthy, and it means you have to keep rais­ing your game week af­ter week. Ev­ery­one is fight­ing.”

Man­ager Neal Ard­ley was crit­i­cal of the Carabao Cup for­mat af­ter the 3-1 de­feat to Brent­ford and says first round ties should go straight to penal­ties.

The ex­tra half-hour wasn’t what the boss wanted days af­ter the start of the new sea­son and the Dons boss wants the com­pe­ti­tion to be­come more man­ager-friendly next sea­son.

Ard­ley said: “I’ve got a bug­bear with this com­pe­ti­tion go­ing to ex­tra-time in the first week of the sea­son.

“None of my play­ers want ex­tra-time. Round one should go straight to penal­ties.

“It’s not sour grapes. Brent­ford were just too good for us.”

Par­rett agreed, adding: “Brent­ford are a good side but we had good chances, we gave a good ac­count of our­selves and on an­other day we could have won it in­side 90 min­utes.”

PIC: Ac­tion Im­ages

CRE­ATIVE SPARK: Dean Par­rett

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