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Neal's message to the fans

10 April 2013

Wimbledon boss says everyone at the club can play a part

Neal Ardley has called on everyone at AFC Wimbledon to pull together during the last three games in an effort to ensure League 2 survival.

The Wimbledon manager remains convinced that he has a strong enough squad to avoid the drop after three successive defeats curtailed what had been an impressive run since January.

, Neal reiterated that his players are doing everything they can to turn it around, ahead of Saturday's home match against Exeter City.Dons PlayerSpeaking to

Everyone at the club wants us to stay up and the coaching team and players are certainly in that category,” said Neal (pictured above saluting the fans after the win at Aldershot). “People would not be human if they did not get butterflies in their stomachs about what might happen. We are all in the same situation in that respect. Unfortunately, for the players they have to put that out of their minds because that sort of thing can lead to their mentalities changing in games. That is what we are focusing on now. We have been a really good team for three months, but we have lost three games on the trot. We have not played badly in any of those games and the small margins are going against us at the moment.

“All we can say is that we will work incredibly hard on the pitch and on the training ground. But we have to stay positive and we do not need to change anything we are doing. The people at the club who are not in control of the situation are praying that the boys can turn it around. There will be anxiety and nerves and that is natural.

"I say that we have to turn those nerves into positivity. If you are a fan then that goes for the last three games of the season – it is not just about Saturday – and we need to push that negativity aside. No matter how the first game goes, take that positivity into the second game, and the third one. That frame of mind from everyone at the club will see us over the line and we will all have played a massive part and can celebrate that. We can all be heroes in helping to achieve that, but we need to stay strong and now is not the time to affect the boys in a negative way from the sidelines.”

Neal Ardley pointed to the memorable victories at Dagenham and Aldershot as fine examples of how Wimbledon’s supporters inspired the Dons to victory and he wants more of the same in the final three matches.

"Our fans have been unbelievable and the noise they made at Dagenham and Aldershot was phenomenal,” Neal added. “Northampton at home also sticks in my mind. I know that the players have to play a part in getting the fans on the edge of their seats, but with three games to go and so much at stake, it may not happen. Games are going to be scrappy in the same manner as against Barnet and Bristol Rovers.

We have to believe we can do it and stay strong until 5.00 pm on Saturday, April 27. I am staying positive and I believe the players are too. I will lead them and I want the fans to come on board too. Together I believe we can be a potent force.If things do not go our way on Saturday we have to stay positive for the next game and the one after that.e have 48 points with three games to play and if someone had said that to us in December or January we would maybe have snapped their hands off and given them £10,000. We are in a great position as it is still in our own hands. It feels like the club is on a bit of a downer after three defeats. But w“It is not going to be free-flowing football and chances galore and those are the times when we need fans to stay strong if the players are making mistakes. The fans can help us get over the line.

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


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