Dons manager sums up his best and worst moments
today reflected on 12 months as AFC Wimbledon manager with satisfaction, but he is far from resting on his laurels and has a burning desire to take the Dons forward.Neal Ardley
On 10 October, 2012, Neal was appointed as Wimbledon boss with the club struggling in League 2, but a year on he has engineered an encouraging start to the season with the Dons challenging for a top-10 place.
today, Neal (pictured on the day he was unveiled as boss) summed up the improvements made since he took over as manager and what motivates him to move AFC Wimbledon forward as a club.Dons PlayerDuring a Q & A for
In response to a question about his biggest challenge as Wimbledon manager, Neal said: “I could name a few, but I think the fact that we were not good enough when I came in, we had 10 players injured and were overloaded with loan players, was tough. I could not really change the team for a long period and that was the biggest challenge. We had to work with what we had and that was a group of players that were physically not up to it until we got to January.”
Neal looked back on his transfer dealings in January as a novice manager with a great source of pride as he believes those frantic days were the key to League 2 survival. However, the Wimbledon manager is passionate about moving the Dons forward as a club.
day and we never gave up. I had to use every ounce of my persuasive powers considering I was inexperienced at the time to get the right type of players in and I think that made all the difference. “The club staying up is obviously the biggest overall achievement, but when I look back on everything my first transfer window stands out,” Neal added. “It went right down to the last hour of the last
“Progress is the aim and are we a better outfit and a better club that when I took over? I would like to think so. If I can stand here and say that we are stronger and better this time next year then that will be job done.
“The worst part of the job is learning to deal with the frustrations of defeats and poor performances. The fans here are passionate and they will often question things that you do as a manager, but I can assure them that no one questions themselves more than me.”
Dons Player susbcribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium site, along with the manager’s team update ahead of Accrington Stanley.