Chris Basham has insisted Sheffield United will not be fazed by their surroundings at Kingsmeadow today.
AFC Wimbledon’s stadium, which they share with Isthmian League Premier club Kingstonian, is one of the most claustrophobic venues in the English Football League.
But Basham, who enjoyed a spell on loan with Stafford Rangers at the start of his career, believes that experience will stand him and other members of Chris Wilder’s squad in good stead.
“This will be a tough place to go for any team because the conditions might not be what everyone is used too,” Basham said. “But lads like myself are used to that. We’re not getting many tickets, it’s close knit and the pitch is small. The facilities might not be the most plush around but there’s nothing wrong with that, we’ve seen it all before.”
Paul Coutts, Mark Duffy, Simon Moore and Chris Hussey, a former AFC Wimbledon player, also played senior non-league football before joining United and Basham added: “You can tell the lads who have done it straight away because they just get on with things. I remember going to Stafford, the lads were coming in wearing their work gear and I’m in a Bolton tracksuit. But that’s where I learnt what you had to do to get on.
“We’ll have to do that here because Wimbledon have shown what they’re about. It’s not about having the biggest or the best ground, it’s about what you do out there on the pitch.”
United travel to London searching for their third straight league win and Basham said: “I think the gaffer has brought in a lot of men, lads who are experienced in this league, which helps. Lads who believe in what they are doing.”