Musonda relished chance to test himself against Dons duo

Frankie Musonda in action for Luton at AFC Wimbledon
Frankie Musonda in action for Luton at AFC Wimbledon

Teenager Frankie Musonda believes he can only get better having come up against AFC Wimbledon duo Lyle Taylor and Cody McDonald during Luton’s 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy victory on Tuesday night.

The 19-year-old was partnering fellow academy graduate Akin Famewo at the heart of Town’s defence, as were charged with keeping out an experienced front pairing who have scored well over 150 Football League goals between them

You shouldn’t try not to focus on them in possession too much anyway, just do what you’ve got to do.

Frankie Musonda

It was Taylor who drew the Dons level, firing past James Shea for only his fourth goal of the season, as on the test he faced, Musonda said: “You learn all the time playing against these sorts of players.

“McDonald he’s been around for a while, Taylor, he definitely gave us a big test, with the goal as well, he took the goal well to be fair.

“You’ve got to get to grips and see what they do.

“We watched clips on what he’s like and how he plays, but sometimes it just depends on their movement and how the ball’s been played.

“You shouldn’t try not to focus on them in possession too much anyway, just do what you’ve got to do.

“It’s out of possession, so it’s got to be one eye on the ball and one eye on the man.”

Once Taylor was withdrawn with an injury five minutes before the break, Musonda’s job did get significantly easier though, as he continued: “I think once he came off, it definitely had an affect on their team and we started to kick on really.

“It was a good game, a tough game, first half was definitely tough.

“But then second half we really took it to them, and in the end we should have had more.

“They had one good chance in the second half and the rest was all us really, so I’m happy with it.”

Rather than worry about who he was facing on the night too, Musonda took the view of relishing the opportunity to test himself against higher level opposition, as he had in pre-season when facing Riyad Mahrez and co during Premier League side Leicester City’s visit to Kenilworth Road.

He said: “It can be (nervy), but I find it more exciting really, just to challenge you.

“I want to play against the best, even in pre-season when we played against Leicester, I wouldn’t even say that was really daunting, more just exciting, to see how far you are from those sorts of players.

“It’s just you learn as you go really, the bad games you’ve just got to look at them as a learning curve.

“Instead of being upset and getting all annoyed about the game, just try and learn from it and then don’t make the same mistakes again”

Hatters boss Nathan Jones did drop Glen Rea back to help out both Musonda and Famewo during the first period as the Dons had some promising moments, as the manager said: “It took us a bit of time to get to grips with them as they came very strong in terms of what they did.

“Their top front man, they played him, they’ve got Cody McDonald so it was a real good test for our two young centre halves.

“We had to change, give them a bit of a hand early on to get to grips with the game, but once we did that, it was good.”

Musonda added: “I think once Glen slotted in there we all felt quite comfortable.

“He did well as captain, led us from the back, always talking, moving us around and it helped a lot.”