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Neal on transfers and Burton

2 February 2013

Bos reflects on a hectic week at Wimbledon

Neal Ardley believes Wimbledon’s dramatic moves in the transfer market have provided him with a squad well equipped to survive relegation this season.

Speaking to Dons Player ahead of tomorrow’s match against promotion contenders Burton Albion, the Wimbledon manager praised the club for helping him secure experienced pair Gary Alexander and Alan Bennett. Alexander was signed on loan from Crawley just before the transfer window closed on Thursday and Bennett had his contract at Cheltenham cancelled minutes before the 11.00 pm deadline so that he could sign for the Dons on Friday. Those late additions made it six signings for the Wimbledon manager since the turn of the year.

Neal Ardley said: “It was a hectic time. We worked extremely hard to get Gary in and it looked like we were not going to get him. At half past five on Thursday the deal was dead and it was not going to happen. Myself, ‘Bass’ and ‘Coxy’ were a bit dejected as we thought we had missed out on our targets. We thought we would be putting another list of names together for a week’s time. However, I took it upon myself to have another go at getting Gary and at 7.00 pm it became apparent that there was life in it.

“We worked incredibly hard and we had to pull three or four things together in a short space of time. David Charles (club secretary) worked very hard in getting the paperwork done and we managed to get Gary over the line late on Thursday. It then also became a possibility that we may have a chance of getting Alan Bennett in. We managed to put something together so that Alan was secure enough to have his contract cancelled at about two minutes to 11 so that he could sign for us today. Erik Samuelson (Chief Executive) was brilliant in the way that he backed me to get the targets we wanted. I looked at the squad today and I think that we have a very good squad now. We have added more quality and if we continue to be hard working then it will be a good mix.”

Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley provided team news and his views on Wimbledon’s tough home match against Burton Albion later today. Midfielder Stacy Long also spoke to WDON commentator Rob Cornell on our premium channel and he told Dons Player that he is determined to make up for his side’s 6-2 defeat in the corresponding fixture.

Neal Ardley added that Will Antwi (hip) and Curtis Osano (calf) are unlikely to be risked for Burton Albion, though Paul McCallum is definitely available after returning to full training following a foot injury. The Wimbledon boss confirmed that new signings Gary Alexander, Harry Pell and Kevin Sainte-Luce are all in contention to make their debuts, but Alan Bennett is ineligible.

Dons Player subscribers can view today’s interviews with Neal Ardley, Alan Bennett, Gary Alexander and Stacy Long on our premium site.

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