Dons boss expects a reaction from his players
Neal Ardley is hoping his players will be refreshed and up for a battle against Morecambe tomorrow after he gave them two days off following the Accrington defeat.
, the Wimbledon manager said that their humbling in Lancashire highlighted the need to maintain consistent performance levels in League 2, but the players needed some time to recharge their batteries.Dons PlayerSpeaking to
“People do not quite realise how much it takes out of the players when we have these long away trips on the coach,” he said. “When you get back at half three in the morning on the Wednesday, then the players do not get a good night’s sleep because their minds are racing. Then you are asking them to come in early on a Thursday morning. I think your body would be so tired that you are not going to do a lot.
“We just felt that especially after Tuesday's game – but we were planning it before – that the players would be better off spending time with their families and forgetting about the performance. Then they could come in this morning and really focus on what we are doing in terms of going forward. You cannot always do the right thing as a manager and hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I can assure you that all the processes we go through have been well thought out.”
That certainly goes for the manager’s reaction to Tuesday’s heavy defeat as he thought about what he would say to his players long before the game reached its conclusion.
“You look at what is the best thing to do after a game and with 10 minutes to go I reflected on that,” Neal added. “I needed to get the next bit right to enable the boys to react in the right way. My first thought was with the fans as they had travelled so far and I gave them a little bit of time. But then I went in and had a chat with the boys, we linked arms, and I told them that they had been fantastic recently and had always responded well after a blip.
“We spent this morning trying to state the point why results will go against them if they drop their performance levels and we have to make sure it does not happen again.”
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Jim Bentley’s Morecambe beat the Dons 3-1 at the Globe Arena in November and though they will be without their hat-trick hero from that day, Kevin Ellison, due to suspension, Neal Ardley is expecting a very tough game.
“Jim has done a fantastic job there and they are always well organised,” Neal added. “They are hard to beat and play good football too. They gave us a bit of a beating earlier this season, even though Jim was not happy with their performance. There are no easy games in this league. If you look at Tuesday night, I predicted that the three teams below us would win, though not the four. The teams down there are fighting for their lives. Morecambe played really well against Gillingham last week and they are not an easy team to play against.”