Dons boss expects a tough challenge at Highbury Stadium
Neal Ardley says the Dons must be wary of a Fleetwood side determined to make amends tomorrow for their surprise midweek defeat against Plymouth.
The Wimbledon manager is under no illusions that his side will have to work tirelessly to continue their upward momentum after a morale-boosting win at Newport County on Tuesday.
Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “It will be a tough game, but it will be played on a good pitch in a good stadium. People look at their result on Tuesday as a real shock, even though Plymouth are in good form. Sometimes that’s not what you want before you play them because their manager will be looking for a reaction and so will their players. That will make it tough for us.
“We’re playing quite well at the moment, but we’re missing that killer cutting edge in the final third. For the most parts of recent matches, the opposition are not creating much against us. We’re working very hard and the players seem to be in a good zone. We’re searching really hard to get that momentum and if that comes then it will be great. I felt that momentum during the second half of last season and we’re working really hard to turn it in our favour.”
Despite their 4-0 defeat against Plymouth on Tuesday, Graham Alexander’s men are still well placed in sixth spot in League 2. Bizarrely, they’ve picked up the same amount of points both home and away with 26 points collected at Highbury Stadium and the same number on their travels. The Dons last visited Fleetwood Town in October, 2012, in Neal Ardley’s first away match in charge, and the match ended 1-1 with Byron Harrison netting a second-half equaliser.
Though Charlie Wyke did not quite earn the headlines of fellow substitutes Charlie Sheringham and Kevin Sainte-Luce at Newport on Tuesday, he still played a key part in the dramatic turnaround and the on-loan Middlesbrough striker is eager to build on that win at Fleetwood.
Speaking to Rob Cornell on Dons Player, Charlie said: “A win has lifted everyone and we go into Saturday’s game in high spirits. I know the manager does not like to say that we’ve been unlucky, but we needed something to fall for us and that happened on Tuesday. We go into Saturday full of confidence now, but they are going to be looking to bounce back after a defeat. We know it’s going to be a battle. Fleetwood are a good team and they’re up there so it is going to be a tough test.
“I think all the substitutes made a good impact at Newport. It was great for Charlie to score and the fans seem to love Kevin. He’s a good player to bring on because he is so direct and I’m sure Kevin will score more goals if he gets chances. We have a lot more players fit now and training has been good. Hopefully, if I get the nod I can score goals and help us win the game.”
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Dons Player subscribers can watch a video interview with Charlie Wyke on our premium site, along with Neal Ardley’s full update.