O'Riley's performance takes the pressure off Fraser

"Hopefully, the opposition will start looking at him and not just me!"

Monday, 15th March 2021, 2:42 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 2:46 pm
Scott Fraser celebrates with Matt O'Riley after the late winner over Accrington

It's no secret that Scott Fraser has been a key man in Dons' side this season, but teams are really taking his threat seriously recently.

Barely able to move without drawing attention of one, two or even three opposition markers at times, Fraser's patience has been tested. A player who hasn't shyed away from showing or shouting his frustrations on and off the pitch this season, Fraser admitted it has been a difficult time with his new-found company.

But with that attention, it has allowed another Dons midfielder - Matt O'Riley - to cause problems of his own. Since signing for the club as a free agent in January, O'Riley has netted three goals, including one away against AFC Wimbledon and the stoppage-time winner against Accrington on Saturday.

The emergence of the 20-year-old has allowed Dons to somewhat overcome the smothering of Fraser's impact, but the Scot hopes O'Riley's impressive displays can take some of the attention off him again.

"He has done really well, but he's got to do well when you've got the materials we've got. With Glads getting fit again as well, I've really enjoyed playing with him as well. Matt has stepped in and stepped up, and is a player who likes to get on the ball. Hopefully, the opposition will start looking at him and not just me!

"It's something I speak to the gaffer about it all the time, and he tells me to take it as a compliment, but trying to play like that is not very enjoyable. I've learned to look at it as though if two players are on me, one of my team-mates is open, and we try to exploit that.

"After the Charlton game, Lee Bowyer came out and said Darren Pratley was the best player in the league, blah blah blah, because of what he did. And I don't think we dealt with it right then.

"I think since then, we've played a lot better as a team, we're not just coming up on the left side, the right is looking pretty dangerous for us now too. I'm learning to take it as a compliment."