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Neal on staying up

27 April 2013

Wimbledon manager's reaction

Neal Ardley said he is unlikely to enjoy a better moment during the rest of his managerial career than helping AFC Wimbledon to survival today.

Speaking to Dons Player after today’s dramatic victory against Fleetwood Town, the Wimbledon manager said: “Hopefully I do go on and have a good managerial career, but I think it would have to be something spectacular to better this. To turn it around and help a club that I hold so dear to my heart to stay up is unbelievable.

“But it is not about me because I know how hard this club has worked over the years to make it successful. I am so pleased for the club and I know how much it means to the fans to hold onto their league status. I was just worried that all the hard work we have done behind the scenes and the perception of that would go out of the window if we did not see it over the line today. But we have and I am proud to have played a part in the wonderful history of this club.”

Neal Ardley also revealed that there was no inspirational team talk in the dressing room before the match.

“I know people think that I am a young manager and I think about my job for 24 hours a day. After the last game against Gillingham I planned the week ahead knowing that it was in our own hands. We kept the boys bubbling during the week to take the pressure off them. My team talk was not emotional –it was actually quite cold.

“My team-talk was based on statistics and I told the players that if they produced what they were capable of then we had a great chance of winning the match. Anyone who had come down the training ground this week would not have believed that we were a team needing to win on the last day to stay in the league.”

   Dons Player subscribers can watch a full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium site. 

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