Manager's message ahead of new season
Neal Ardley has stressed the importance of getting behind a new-look squad during 2014/15 in an effort to improve AFC Wimbledon’s home form.
With attacking firepower having been added to Wimbledon’s armoury, Neal Ardley hopes there will be plenty for opposition defences to worry about during the new season, starting with Shrewsbury at home tomorrow.
It’s not about what has gone before and the negative vibes that we had about our home form. We started the season really well last year, but you have to keep players fit, get the momentum going and maintain confidence in the team. I think it’s really important that everyone - myself included - and the fans put aside any negativity from last season. Speaking to Dons Player ahead of the first home game against Shrewsbury, Neal said: “We’ve got fresh impetus and a new squad. It’s a new beginning and let’s give the team our backing for as long as we possibly can. I also have to try and have a positive outlook and really get behind the team.
“In the second half of last season we played two forwards in every game and sometimes three. Scoring goals is the hardest part of the game, but we have signed two very good forwards and we know that Ade Azeez is learning all the time. We will try and put out two forwards on the pitch and have a goal threat as much as we can.”
With Wimbledon facing several of the promotion favourites in the early games of 2014/15, Neal knows it’s a tough start to the new season.
“Teams do not get into a rhythm in terms of their systems and style in early season,” added Neal. “I’ve focused on us and our strengths and how we are going to play. There’s a lot of pressure on us because we are at home and there’s optimism because we feel we’ve done well in the summer. But that will be the same for most clubs.
“When you look at our first five or six games they are all up there in the betting with the bookies. It’s a tough start. No one really knows how it will pan out until about 15 games in because it’s such a tight league. I would like to think that teams will be looking at us and worrying about what we might have to offer, but whether that’s the case is another matter. We want to get off to a strong start if we can.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full interview with Neal Ardley, along with interviews with Adam Barrett, Callum Kennedy and George Pilbeam.
Tickets are still available for tomorrow's match against Shrewsbury. This is not an all-ticket match and due to returns we have availability in the Nongshim Stand, Your Golf Travel terrace and the Paul Strank Stand.
Tickets can be booked from our online shop until 11.00 am tomorrow morning. Click on Shrewsbury Tickets to purchase these.