The boss on improving his squad and Gillingham test
Neal Ardley has revealed that he is working hard behind the scenes to improve AFC Wimbledon’s squad.
The Dons boss admits that League 2 leaders Gillingham will provide a benchmark for just how much his side has improved in recent weeks. However, Neal has been busy scouring the loan market for players who could strengthen his squad outside the transfer window.
Speaking to Dons Player, he said: “We know there are certain areas we may need to look at and dabble in. What we have to do is work hard behind the scenes to ensure that any players we do bring in are definitely what we are looking for and will make a difference.
“We have not got much money, we are not an affluent club and if we spend money, then we need to make sure that we are spending it wisely. I do not want to jump in and rush by bringing in any player. We are working hard to make sure that we get the best ones for what we can afford.”
Of course, Neal has to decide on the loan players he wants to keep, but centre-back Yado Mambo is definitely a player that the Dons boss wishes to retain for longer.
The towering Charlton Athletic centre-back has played in all five games since arriving on loan and Neal Ardley has been impressed.
“Yado is definitely one we are looking to keep on,” he said. “He has done really well with our other centre-backs out. Although, they are back training, it will be two or three weeks before they are anywhere near up to speed for matches. If we have good players in the first-team and they are playing well, then we want to keep them.”
Club skipper Mat Mitchel-King has had a full week’s training under his belt now, but the centre-back is not considered to be ready yet and the same goes for Pim Balkestein.
Saturday’s visit of top-of-the-table Gillingham is likely to feature another return for Wimbledon’s promotion hero Danny Kedwell, who has nine goals already this season.
However, Neal says a collective team ethic from the Dons is the key to nullifying the threat that Kedwell and his team-mates pose.
“We have given two good performances, but we are trying to do that week in and week out,” he added. “The old saying of being level-headed is apt at this moment. If Gillingham over power us by showing what they have done for the majority of this season, then that will bring us back down to earth. That will show us how far we have to improve. It is about us working together as a team and we have a better chance against a side with good players if we do that.”
The full video interview with Neal Ardley can be viewed on Dons Player and we will feature the thoughts of Yado Mambo on his loan spell so far tomorrow.