AFC Wimbledon manager Johnnie Jackson has provided an explanation for the absence of defender Ryan Johnson in their 1-0 home defeat to Bradford on Saturday. The 27-year-old, who had played every minute of all 12 League Two matches before this, missed the game due to a neck injury. Johnson had initially arrived with the team before kickoff but couldn’t participate.
According to Jackson, Johnson sustained a neck injury during training on Thursday, causing him significant discomfort and pain. He was unable to train the day before the match, and the decision to omit him was made shortly before the game because he felt he wouldn’t be able to endure the pain. As a result, a late change was made, with Alex Pearce, a former Millwall captain, partnering Joe Lewis in defense.
Pearce put on a commendable performance, winning 10 aerial duels and making three clearances. Jackson expressed his disappointment at not having Johnson, who had been a crucial part of their defensive partnership with Joe, but he also praised the depth of their squad and the ability of their substitutes, including Pearce, to step in and perform effectively.