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Pim's survival mission

21 December 2012

Dutch defender believes targets can be met

Pim Balkestein has revealed that Wimbledon have been set a target of 10 more wins to ensure League 2 survival this season.

The Dutch defender, who says he is now approaching full match fitness after an injury-hit season, admits that manager Neal Ardley has set the players tough targets for the rest of 2012/13.

But Balkestein is confident the players can meet them – and he believes the Wimbledon manager will make the squad much stronger during the New Year.

Speaking to Rob Cornell on Dons Player, he said: “We have to make sure that we get 50 points as quickly as we can during the rest of this season. We have been set a target of 10 wins from the last 24 games and if we get those then we will be safe. That is a big challenge for us.

“It is a tough time for us at the moment, but we cannot afford to feel sorry for ourselves. It is not always the teams which play the worst that go down. We have to make sure that it is not us. The coming Christmas period is massive for us and we have to try and get a couple of wins in a row. You can see improvement from us with our tactics and the way that we are playing, but we have to start moving up the table. I think in January the manager will get money to bring in the players he wants to and hopefully we will get stronger.”

Balkestein admits that he has to be patient for his chance at centre-back with Yado Mambo and Will Antwi having formed a solid partnership in recent weeks.

“We have strong competition at the moment and they have done well,” he added. “The players in the team have to keep pushing themselves as we have good players not even getting on the bench. Getting 120 minutes on Tuesday night was good for me because I have had about three months out this season and hopefully I will get the chance a chance in the first-team to show that I am still a good player.”

The full audio interview with Pim Balkestein can be listened to on Dons Player.

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