Manager uses big cup tie as an incentive for players
Neal Ardley has no fresh injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s match at York City with both George Francomb and Callum Kennedy having trained this week.
Francomb (pictured) and Kennedy were withdrawn towards the end of Wimbledon’s FA Cup win at Wycombe on Sunday, but they are both vying for selection at Bootham Crescent. The only players unavailable are Jack Smith and Andy Frampton.
Speaking to Rob Cornell during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley spoke about Wimbledon’s FA Cup draw against Liverpool, but he’s keen to maintain focus on the next four League 2 games before that big tie.
“Both George and Callum have trained all week,” said Neal. “They came off due to cramp and everyone is good to go apart from those already out. I just want us to keep the same mentality that we had at Wycombe on Sunday and that’s really important for us.
“We have to ensure it’s not a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’. That’s the job of the staff and we have to make sure the players are ready. We’ve talked through video footage with them and it was really positive. You can never guarantee a result in this league, but I expect the boys to put in a high level of performance to ensure that York have to earn anything that they get from the game.
“After Wycombe when I spoke to the press I said it was really important that we didn’t have that flat feeling on Monday night. A club like us has to work hard to get into the third round of the FA Cup. It could not have come out too much better and there’s a real buzz around the place. It gives everyone something to look forward to in the New Year.
“It’s great, but there is that element of focusing on the next four games. I have to try and use the Liverpool game as an incentive to everyone on the training pitch. We have two games close together over Christmas and we are probably not going to play the same 11. Potentially, everyone is going to get their chance and we just need to keep them at it on the training field.”
Loan signing Jake Goodman made his debut at Wycombe last Sunday and Neal has been very impressed with the defender so far.
“He’s a big, strong boy and he gives us something slightly different,” added Neal. “He is 6 ft 3 inches and has massive shoulders on him. Though we are expecting him to be a little bit raw at times because he’s an Under-21 player, Jake may surprise us. He came in and won all of his headers on Sunday, but Jake will have a different challenge on Saturday and hopefully he’ll step-up for that one as well.”
Tickets can be purchased on the day at York tomorrow and we still have places left on the supporters’ coach.
The coach will pick-up from opposite South Wimbledon tube station at 8.00 am and from the Cherry Red Records Stadium at 8.30 am on Saturday.
It is £23 for return travel and places can be booked by contacting 020 8547 3528 during normal office hours.
Interviews with Neal Ardley and Barry Fuller can now be viewed on Dons Player.