The manager's update for Cheltenham
Neal Ardley says he has tough decisions to make for Cheltenham on Saturday with key players having this week proved their fitness.
Andy Frampton (pictured) has recovered from the ankle knock that he suffered last Thursday and is in contention and Jack Smith is also vying for a recall.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal Ardley confirmed: “Andy has trained all week and Jack played for a good hour in a practice match on Tuesday. Jack always does just enough, but that’s his demeanour – I’ve known him for many years. Jack is a quality player and he’s back in contention as well. I have some tough decisions to make in terms of choosing the squad to travel to Cheltenham.”
However, Neal Ardley believes they will offer plenty of threat on Saturday and he has plenty of respect for former Wimbledon development coach Shaun North, who is now part of the first-team coaching set-up at Whaddon Road. Cheltenham are currently in ninth place in League 2 – just a point above the Dons – after their promising start to 2014/15 hit the buffers recently.
“I get on really well with Shaun and he’s a football man through and through,” said Neal. “We talked coaching all the time; he enjoyed watching training and taking part in how we ran the sessions. He’s doing a good job there. They’ve had a sticky spell, but that happens in this league. It’s an unforgiving league and both teams will be looking to bounce back. I’m sure it will be two teams going right at it on Saturday.
“Both sides had a victory each in our games last season with the winners coming in the last minute and we know it will be tight again. They have got their threats. We know that Bryon Harrison is a handful on his day and we had a look ourselves a few times at John Marquis, who is on loan from Millwall. He’s a great worker and a good striker, especially at this level.
“It was sloppy defending from us last week at Newport, but that came about because we chased the game. I’ve looked at the video again and what pleased me is that even at 3-0 down we looked like we could get back into it. There were loads of positives to take from it. We’ve done match analysis today and we will try to put some of the issues right.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley later on today and a video interview with Sean Rigg will feature tomorrow.