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Neal on Torquay clash

10 January 2014

Dons manager on Saturday's match and the long-term

Neal Ardley is expecting a tough game against Torquay United tomorrow with the League 2 strugglers having appointed Chris Hargreaves as their new manager during the week.

The Gulls are currently second from bottom in the table, but Neal is expecting Torquay’s players to redouble their efforts after the appointment of Hargreaves.

“You always get that short-term bounce after a new manager is appointed when everyone is playing for their places again,” said Neal. “We won’t know what formation that they will play. We can look at their game last week, but the manager might want to change the team completely. It is a little bit of guess work, but we can only take care of things that we can control. We need to put in a high level of performance and if Torquay are very good on the day then we will be in for a tough game.”

placed Wimbledon, but the Gulls did draw 1-1 in the corresponding fixture on the opening day of 2013/14 with Harry Pell’s opener cancelled out by an injury-time Aaron Downes header.thTorquay are currently eight points below 14

During his interview for Dons Player, the Wimbledon manager reiterated his commitment to taking AFC Wimbledon forward in the long-term.

“I think people realise that I’m not just trying to improve our first-team and I’m trying to develop other areas behind the scenes,” Neal added. “ I’m working incredibly hard to get the infrastructure of the club better. When I do eventually part ways with the club I want to look around and say what a great job we’ve done and what a great position we have left it in.

“I genuinely want to be a manager who is known for producing our own players and helping to give them a pathway. Timing is important because you can kill a kid if you do it too soon when he’s not ready. But we need to be trusted that we’ll get it right because we have a lot of experience in that.”

Aaron Morris, who signed for the Dons this morning, will be in the squad for tomorrow’s match against Torquay United and he aims to repay Neal Ardley for showing so much faith in him.

The versatile defender, who has plenty of Football League experience with Aldershot, aims to bounce back from a 10-month lay-off due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury. But Aaron believes he’s in the right place to do that under the guidance of his former Cardiff City Academy Manager.

“Neal has kept in touch with me since those days and he’s been as good as gold with me,” said Aaron. “He helped get me a pro contract at Cardiff City and now I’ve got a chance to be back in the Football League again.

“I’ve been out for 10 months and I’ve been doing my rehabilitation at Cardiff City and I feel strong again. It may take me one or two weeks to get fully match-fit again, but my leg feels good again and I’m looking to push on in my career again.”

to view the video.Dons Training  Dons Player subscribers can now watch video interviews with Neal Ardley, Aaron Morris and Ross Worner. There's also video footage of Wimbledon's players in training ahead of tomorrow's match on our You Tube channel. Click on 

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