Doumbe ready to fight for Dons first team role

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A BANDAGED up Mathias Doumbe was left needing stitches after a clash of heads with Preston’s Akpo Sodje when he made his first start of the season on Sunday.

The French defender returned to the starting 11 after several months on the sidelines, but put in a strong performance at centre back alongside Shaun Williams as the Dons back four kept another clean sheet at Deepdale.

Doumbe needed bandaging up in the second half after a clash of heads with Lilywhites striker Sodje, but recovered well as his side left with a frustrating 0-0 draw.

Doumbe said: “I tried to win the ball in the air with Sodje but we clashed heads which cut mine open. He doesn’t even have a bump on his head! He’s as strong as stone!

“They didn’t offer an awful lot, but it was difficult because of the way they play, there is always a threat. I felt everyone played really well, the back four challenged well and was aware of the second ball and the midfield runners.

“We are disappointed to not come away with three points. For the penalty shout, I’ve heard it was a blatant penalty. Apart from that, we had a few chances but nothing clear, though I think we performed better than they did and deserved to win.”

Despite not coming away from Lancashire with all three points, Doumbe was pleased with his return to competitive action.

He said: “I’m very satisfied, I’ve been on the sidelines since the Norwich game. I’ve been waiting for my chance and I’m pleased with how it went.

“It’s very frustrating being out injured, especially because it’s the second year in a row that is has happened! But there’s nothing you can do about it, you’ve just got to keep training, working with Damien Doyle to get the fitness right, play in a few friendlies you get yourself as ready as you can.”