'Hopefully he'll get a warm reception' - Dons coach on Pigott reunion

Joe Pigott has signed a three-year deal with Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town striker Joe Pigott faces his former club AFC Wimbledon tomorrow. - Credit: ITFC

AFC Wimbledon assistant manager Rob Tuvey says he hopes Ipswich Town striker Joe Pigott gets a warm reception from travelling Dons fans at Portman Road tomorrow.

Pigott made a Bosman free transfer switch to the Blues this summer having scored more than 50 goals in three-and-a-half seasons for the London club.

In a heartfelt letter penned after the move, the 27-year-old said it was the 'toughest decision' of his career and that it had been an 'absolute privilege' to play his part in stabilising the club at League One level.

“I think he’s definitely up there (with Wimbledon’s best strikers) if you look at the service he gave to the club, both on and off the pitch," said Tuvey, in the lead-up to tomorrow's League One clash.

"He was a massive part of our dressing room last year and hopefully the Wimbledon fans will give him a great reception on Saturday, but we want to be celebrating three points with them afterwards.

"Joe was fantastic for us and someone who we’ve all kept in contact with. We wish him well for the future.”

Whether Pigott starts tomorrow remains to be seen. After playing in the opening three league games, scoring with a diving header in the 2-1 defeat at Burton, he was an unused sub for last weekend's 2-2 home draw with MK Dons. Macauley Bonne led the line and scored twice in that match. 

“This season myself and Robbo (manager Mark Robinson) have had longer with the group to try to implement new ideas that Joe has potentially not seen," said Tuvey.

"We will go there with a gameplan. I think the nice thing that people will have seen is that we’ve got flexibility in our side – for personnel and formations. Whatever we choose to go with on the day, we’ve got the opportunity to change formations and players. That’s going to be a strength for us moving forward.

“They are definitely a different side because there was a lot of recruitment in the summer, but you are always know that Ipswich will be a tough test. When you play against Paul’s teams you know that they are going to play a good brand of football and attacking style of football as well.

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"They’ve definitely been unfortunate in a few games this season as they’ve created a lot of chances. We know the threats that they pose, but in every game we’ve played so far we have carried a good threat. We haven’t been out of any of the games so far and we want to go there and put our mark on it."

AFC Wimbledon's Joe Pigott celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Sky Bet L

Joe Pigott scored 54 goals in three-and-a-half seasons for AFC Wimbledon as the London club repeatedly beat the League One drop. - Credit: PA

Wimbledon started the season with a 2-1 win at Doncaster. Since then, in the league, they've drawn against Bolton (3-3) and Gillingham (1-1) at home and lost 1-0 at Sunderland. Meanwhile, victories against Charlton and Northampton have set up a Carabao Cup third round trip to Arsenal.

Blues boss Paul Cook was at Sixfields on Tuesday night to see a much-changed Wimbledon side get their late 1-0 win.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the game," he said. "I thought Wimbledon were a threat. They probably played a different system (3-5-2) to the one they may play tomorrow (4-2-3-1) with quite a few different personnel. But clearly they are a team playing with great belief and great structure. I think Mark's done an excellent job in a short tenure as manager.

"Every team offers a different challenge at League One level.

"Our game plan doesn't change very much for the opposition though. It's about how good can we be?"

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