Neal Ardley's views on FA Cup tie
Neal Ardley expects to have Wimbledon captain Steven Gregory available for the FA Cup trip to York City on Saturday.
In his Thursday team update for Dons Player, Neal said that Steven came through full training today after shaking off a hip injury and he also confirmed that Callum McNaughton and Mat Mitchel-King are in contention to make the squad.
Steven has been given permission to play in the cup tie by his club AFC Bournemouth and the Dons boss is hopeful that his other loan players Yado Mambo and George Francomb will be given the green light to play.
Neal said: “Steven came through training so that is a positive for us. Callum and Mat are on the road to recovery and they both still have work to do. But they could be in the squad and that would be nice for them after their injury problems. We are trying to iron out the situation with loan players about who can and cannot play. We are not 100 per cent sure on that still. When we have got all these answers we will name the squad and have a right good go at it.”
Irrespective of a very tough schedule coming up with two York City away trips and a journey to Exeter sandwiched in between, Neal is adamant that Saturday’s FA Cup tie is hugely significant for himself and the club.
“The most important thing is to keep the lads mentally fresh,” he added. “You can keep them physically fresh with recovery aids and managing the games with the squad you have got. However, to keep them mentally fresh when you are up and down the motorway all over the country is the difficult part and that is what we are trying to focus on. Hopefully, when the boys are going into Saturday week’s game, they will not realise they have had a tough week.
“It is a cup tie away from home and it is going to be very tough. We are under no illusions about that as they are unbeaten in four or five games. If we could produce a couple of good FA Cup performances though and get to the third round, then it would be phenomenal for the club.”
Dons Player subscribers can view the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium site. See the official website tomorrow for more from Neal about what the FA Cup means to him.