Dons Player update from the manager
Neal Ardley has confirmed that he will make changes to his starting line-up for the Capital One Cup tie at Cardiff City tomorrow night.
The Wimbledon manager is eager for his side to do the club proud against a Championship club, but he believes that looking after his squad is a necessity. Midfielder Tom Beere returned to full training today after shaking off a knee injury and he could be contention.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “Firstly, it is disrespectful to the squad to say ‘this is my best 11 and you cannot get in it’. Secondly, I do not want us to pick up any injuries. If a player gets a muscle injury that keeps him out for two or three weeks it can sometimes affect his whole season. We need to have a look.
“Can I expect George Francomb and Andy Barcham to be flying up and down the flanks for nine games in 27 days with the amount of work that they get through? The answer is probably ‘no’. I need to find a time for them to have a breather whenever possible. It’s the same with Karleigh Osborne. He did not play a bundle last season and we have to look at these players. Whether it is this week or next week, we need to look at a time when the game will suit to give them a breather.
“With any team we put out we are trying to win a game of football. I do not treat any game differently and I have to try and find a way of winning tomorrow. There are some boys feeling stiff in their hamstrings today after the first game and we need to assess things. It is really important that we are strong on Saturday and then we have another game on Tuesday.
“We will pick a team tomorrow to try and win the game with a shape and a system that we think is best. We did work on that today to make sure that we have a chance of getting into the next round.
“Tom Beere is back training today, which is great. Though there are a few with niggles, everyone is fit to be in the squad.”
Neal Ardley’s full update ahead of the match at Cardiff City is now on Dons Player, along with an extensive interview with captain Barry Fuller.