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Dons boss has more belief

5 February 2013

Experience can help pull Wimbledon through

Neal Ardley believes he now has the leadership qualities in his squad that will improve Wimbledon’s chances of League 2 survival this season.

Speaking to Dons Player ahead of tonight’s trip to league leaders Port Vale, Neal Ardley says that the likes of Gary Alexander and Alan Bennett will offer vital experience during the final 18 matches.

“We have signed two captains with Gary and Alex both having skippered their previous clubs,” said the Wimbledon manager. “They are hardly going to come in and be shy around the place. We have also added Peter Sweeney, who is an experienced player used to playing at a higher level and we have Neil Sullivan. I believe that we have made a good mix of signings. Harry Pell is also a really good character and so too is Chris Hussey. When I look around the dressing room I now feel that we have the players who can make a difference going into big games.

“We need to have belief. I have to believe that we can get out of the situation we are in and so too do the players. At half-time and full-time on Saturday we let the players have their say. It was good to hear them all telling each other what they thought before the management came in and started running through the tactics. I believe that we have the right blend of players now, but we have to start putting that into practice.”

Meanwhile, Neal Ardley says that it will be beneficial for other players to go out on loan for first-team experience with Frankie Merrifield having yesterday had his stay at Harrow Borough extended.

“It is good for young players to get experience of men’s football and hopefully one or two more players currently injured can go out on loan,” he said. “This will benefit them in terms of their development and getting match-fit.

Dons Player subscribers can view the full video interview ahead of the Port Vale match on our premium site.

The picture above was taken by John Patrick-Fletcher and shows Gary Alexander striking his first Wimbledon goal against Burton Albion on Saturday.

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