AFC Wimbledon boss Johnnie Jackson has praised Ethan Chislett for earning his place in the side – and believes the midfielder is capable of scoring more goals on a consistent basis.
The South African opened the scoring in Wimbledon’s League Two opening day 2-0 victory against Gillingham, collecting the ball on the edge of the box from a corner and firing a shot past Glenn Morris.
Chislett, 23, has made 73 appearances, scoring six goals and picking up five assists since joining in 2020 under Glyn Hodges.
“I thought Chis was excellent – his all-round game was very good,” Jackson told the South London Press.
“In possession, he did great work for the team, and out of possession, he scored a really good goal.
“It’s something between us that we have spoken about a lot, him adding goals to his game.
“I was really pleased that he managed to get one. It was a great strike, and hopefully there are many more to come.
“The way my team plays, I want my attacking midfield players to have that license to go and get into the box – get in those goalscoring positions.
“You’re going to get chances to take shots off with the way the team plays, so it just comes down to the execution of the shot.
“He’s had some moments in pre-season where he didn’t quite pull that off, but he’s technically very capable.
“He should be capable of doing what he did on Saturday on a more consistent basis.”
Chislett found consistent game time hard to come by under Mark Robinson and failed to start any of the seven games of Mark Bowen’s reign.
But the midfielder has been a prominent fixture in the side during pre-season and was rewarded with a place in the starting line up last Saturday.
“He’s earnt the shirt,” said Jackson of Chislett, working his way into the starting plans.
“I said to them all on day one: ‘You all have six weeks to get yourself into that opening day team.’
“Chis has done that through his performances in pre-season, his performances in training, and through his desire and willingness to work hard.
“Everyone who was in that starting line up [against Gillingham] deserved their place, and now they have to try and keep it, because there is a lot of competition.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD