Manning unhappy with Kayode’s fitness on return from international duty

Kayode was unused in both the Euro U21 qualifier legs against Israel
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Liam Manning admitted he was disappointed with the condition Josh Kayode has returned from international duty with Republic of Ireland U21s.

The 22-year-old missed pre-season at parent club Rotherham United with a hamstring issue, signed for Dons in late August on loan but is yet to get up to full-match fitness.

While his Dons team-mates were able to train for the last two weeks since their win over Oxford United, Kayode meanwhile did not kick a competitive ball while on international duty. Dons and Ireland team-mate Dawson Devoy meanwhile featured in both legs against Israel, but missed a penalty in the shoot-out which saw Ireland miss out on a spot in the Euro U21 finals.

Matt Smith was also away on international duty with Wales, while Daniel Oyegoke played three games for England U20s.

Given Kayode’s lack of involvement and reduced training programme while away with his country, Manning said he was disappointed with the way he has returned.

“It's been frustrating with JJ in terms of the work he's done while he's away,” said the head coach. “The work he's missed out on here, so he could probably have come back in better shape but we'll get him back up to speed.

“But everyone else has come back fit. It's been really good for Matt Smith to get the experience he did against some world class Belgium players, so he's come back in a good place, as have Daniel and Dawson.”