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Neal pleased with progress

27 July 2014

Dons boss encouraged by Woking display

Neal Ardley is pleased with the attacking potency his side has shown during pre-season after they made it seven goals in three games with victory at Woking yesterday.

New players Matt Tubbs, Sean Rigg and Ade Azeez have all got off the mark during pre-season and Neal believes that his new-look squad are starting to click.

Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “Last season we spent periods when we were on top but we never looked like we would score a goal. But today we did not have the ball for long spells, but we looked like we could score a goal. The finishes from Matt and Sean were great and they are things that I’ve seen a lot of in training every day. It’s nice to see that we have attacking potency.

“We do a lot of work in training on our shape and penetration and players being on the same wavelength. But when it comes to decision-making you need players to make the right decisions and produce quality. George Francomb had that to put the first goal on a plate for Matt. For the second goal, Sean has regularly finished like that in training. He has a wonderful left foot. We’ve done a lot of work in training on producing in the final third and that showed today.”

Mark Phillips made his first appearance in a Dons shirt in the 3-1 win against Conference National side and Neal said it was a more than satisfactory debut from the centre-back.

“Mark did the first two weeks of pre-season training, but he’s missed a big two weeks in terms of increasing his sharpness,” added Neal. “I thought that his lack of game-time might stand out today, but it didn’t and I was really pleased with him. It’s great for him that he’s got those minutes in. If he can get 90 minutes next week then he will feel that he’s ready.

“I thought it was a tough game because Garry Hill has put together a good team. Though I would have liked us to have had more possession, it perhaps gave us a good insight into periods of games in League 2 when we haven’t got the ball. We have to work hard as a team and have a good defensive shape and discipline. They never really opened us up or caused us too many problems so that’s a good sign that we’re coming together when we’re out of possession.”

Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium channel.

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