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Neal lays down the gauntlet

18 October 2013

Dons boss on Morecambe test

has called on his players to rise to the challenge of two tough away matches in four days and put the “doom and gloom” of recent results behind them.Neal Ardley

Ahead of matches against Morecambe and Hartlepool, the Wimbledon manager believes his squad are still well placed to do well this season, but they must show a hunger and desire to put things right after three matches without a win.

. “The only way to deal with this situation is for us to roll our sleeves up. We need to focus on things that we think are important so that we can get a result by hook or by crook. That is what we will do. The last three games have been tough because we have played against teams that, in our eyes, we should be beating. They have all sat back with a game plan and we have struggled. It shows that in these games we are not yet ready to tackle such situations or we need more work to do so.Dons Player“There is no panic going on and if I can get through last season, then I can get through anything,” Neal told

“I don’t think we will face one of these games in the next few weeks so we need to just focus on the next game and make sure we get something out of it. Morecambe battered us in both games last season, even though we won the match at our place. Jim Bentley has done a great job on a limited budget, they are undefeated in eight games, and they will be looking to keep that going.

“The strange thing about this league is that we are all doom and gloom because we have taken just one point out of nine, but we are still six points off the top. Chesterfield, who are an excellent team, have also only earned one point from the last three games and it shows the league is strong.”

(ankle) is expected to be out for up to eight weeks.Chris Arthur is pressing for a place after his midweek run-out for the Under-21s. As we previously announced, Kevin Sainte-Luce (back) before selecting his squad for Morecambe and he added that Andy FramptonNeal will check on the fitness of centre-back

Neal added that Wimbledon’s players will have the best preparation possible for these two long away trips.

“We are travelling up by train today because if you go up by coach on a Friday it can be six hours,” he said. “We have had our journey sponsored by a supporter, who will get a trip out of and hopefully a nice weekend. We will hold training today and we will be in Lancaster by 5.00 pm so that the players can have their evening meal. It will be a nice, enjoyable way of travelling and it takes away any excuses.

“As a manager you do everything that you can to take any excuses way from the players. The staff work incredibly hard to give them everything they can. Some of the players realise how well they get treated, which is better that at other League 2 clubs where they have played. We make sure that the boys know what they are doing on the pitch and no stone is left unturned. Whether the results follow is a different matter, but all we can do is take those excuses away and hopefully the players can put in the performances.”

The full video interview with Neal Ardley appeared on Dons Player yesterday and the thoughts of George Francomb are now on our premium site.

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