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Neal's update for Rochdale

4 January 2013

Team news and Neal on boosting the squad

Neal Ardley admits he has a selection dilemma for tomorrow’s match at Rochdale with Will Antwi and Jim Fenlon both pressing for recalls.

Centre-back Antwi, who missed Tuesday’s win at Torquay due to suspension, is back in the frame and young full-back Fenlon is available again after recovering from illness. The match at Spotland Stadium will come too soon for Byron Harrison and Sammy Moore, but both key players are set to return to full training on Monday to provide a double boost for the squad.

With the likes of Mat Mitchel-King, Pim Balkestein and Warren Cummings having performed with credit in recent weeks, the Wimbledon manager is pleased to have the luxury of one or two selection posers.

Speaking to Dons Player this morning before boarding the team coach, Neal Ardley said: “It will be nice to have selection dilemmas based on good performances, rather than just picking a team because that is all we have got. We have players coming back, but the boys did very well on Tuesday so there will be some problems picking the team. That is what we want during January. I want to have players knocking on my door because they are playing well and they cannot get into the team and not just be picking players because we have no other options. It is something we are working towards and hopefully we will get there.”

Neal Ardley has assured Wimbledon’s supporters that improvements will be made to his squad during the January transfer window – and he hopes to have some good news next week.

“I know that this is a part of the season that we need to get right,” he said. “The battery on my mobile phone has been running out by about 3.00 pm most afternoons because I am working so hard to bring players in. I am sure there will be some positive news in the next week or so, but these deals are never done until someone has put their name on a line of paper.

 “We will keep chipping away and I can assure the fans that we will be working very hard to bring in players during the next few weeks. The support is there from the board and they are helping to try and get these deals done. It is hard though because a lot of the targets we want to improve the squad are also wanted by the more affluent League 2 clubs and clubs in League 1 too.”

The Dons were due to continue their preparations for Rochdale with a light training session at Crewe this afternoon, before an overnight stay ahead of the game.

With the likes of 12-goal Bobby Grant leading Rochdale’s forward line, Neal Ardley believes they provide one of the best attacks in League 2 and he says that nullifying their threat will be the key to success at Spotland Stadium.

The full video interview with Neal Ardley can be viewed on Dons Player, along with the thoughts of Tuesday’s match-winner Stacy Long.


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