AFC Wimbledon midfielder Scott Wagstaff has spoken out over the saga surrounding former manager Wally Downes and his eventual sacking by the club earlier this season.
Downes was initially banned after admitting to breaching the FA’s regulations regarding betting on football, with the club eventually deciding to part ways with the Wombles’ legend.
“I think the lads took to it really well to be honest,” Wagstaff admitted in an exclusive interview with Football League World.
“It might have affected a few of the young lads but a lot of us had seen this sort of thing before. A manager leaving is never nice, especially after last year and what he did in keeping us up.
“It was up there with one of my biggest achievements because I thought we were dead and buried. But these things happen, you just don’t know when they’re going to happen.
“You’ve just got to take it on the chin and make sure you get on with it. You can’t dwell on it because it’s not going to help anyone moping around, especially with the run we were on.
“We managed to get three wins I think whilst the gaffer was still under investigation and we took it on from there. We just took control of it and made sure we took care of the results to get a bit of a feel good factor back around the club.”
After taking over the reins from Neal Ardley, Downes took the Wombles on an extraordinary run, losing just one of their final 12 games to lift them from the foot of the League One table and out of the relegation zone entirely.
Downes spent nine years playing for the club back in the 70s and 80s, playing a huge role in the Crazy Gang’s rise up the Football League.
Glyn Hodges is now in charge of first-team proceedings and as things stand heading into the weekend Wimbledon sit in 20th place, only out of the relegation zone on goal difference, adding extra importance to Saturday’s trip to Blackpool.
Wagstaff himself has racked up four assists in 14 games this season and will undoubtedly be looking to add to that tally against the Seasiders.