Robinson struggling to face Pompey

Paul Robinson is struggling to be fit. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Robinson is struggling to be fit. Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Robinson is battling to line-up against former club Pompey today.

The 34-year-old lost his ever-present tag for AFC Wimbledon when he missed their 1-0 defeat at Hartlepool on Good Friday.

A thigh problem meant Ryan Sweeney replaced the Dons’ skipper in the centre of defence.

Regardless, Neal Ardley’s side made it one win in their last seven matches as they slipped four points adrift of the play-offs.

Robinson has played 39 times for Wimbledon since allowed by Paul Cook to depart Fratton Park on the eve of the season.

During his time on the south coast he made 38 appearances and scored twice after being recruited from Millwall by Andy Awford, also serving as captain.

And Ardley is hopeful the veteran defender will be back in contention for today’s televised fixture.

He said: ‘He felt the top of his thigh in training the other day.

‘The pitches have firmed right up and we’re very mindful of how hard we train and what we do.

‘He tried to train Thursday and tried his best to get through it but he felt that if he’d tried that it might go and we couldn’t lose him for any longer than we have.

‘You always miss someone of Robbo’s quality.

‘He’ll possibly be in contention today. Fingers crossed he’ll be ready, we’ll wait and see.’

Loanee Darius Charles and Sweeney formed the central defensive partnership in the absence of Robinson.

Yet Adam Jackson’s 22nd-minute goal settled the Victoria Park encounter.

Ardley added: ‘Sweens did all right. Darius went on the right-side which was odd with two left-sided centre halves but he did well out there.

‘At this precise moment we don’t want to criticise or praise.’

Adebayor Akinfenwa could be thrown back into the starting line-up after the striker came off the bench against Hartlepool following his return from a two-match ban.

Forwards Tom Elliott and Ade Azeez are also in contention as Ardley seeks to shuffle his pack to find a winning combination.

They will face a Pompey side who are to again name Paul Jones in goal following his loan return from Crawley.

With Ryan Fulton having been called-up for Scotland under-21 duty, Jones will play consecutive Blues matches for the first time this season.

However, Brian Murphy is still not ready to return from the calf injury he sustained last month.

Kieron Freeman is again sidelined by the knee injury which has required him to return to parent club Sheffield United for treatment.

He has made only three appearances since arriving on loan in January.

Recent loan recruit Conor Wilkinson is away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland’s under-21s. He is scheduled to link up with the Blues later this week.