Manager to assess his squad tomorrow
Neal Ardley said that the Dons are shaping up well for Saturday’s League 2 match at Crawley Town with no fresh injury concerns after the narrow defeat to Cardiff.
Speaking shortly after training today during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal spoke positively about the options at his disposal with Sean Rigg, Callum Kennedy, Jon Meades and Will Nightingale having acquitted themselves well at Cardiff after coming into the side.
“The boys who played on Tuesday did their recovery work and they are in good fettle,” said Neal. “Tomorrow we will know a bit more. We have to make sure that everyone has come through it as some players have played two 90 minute games in the last week and we will assess it. I cannot flog everyone constantly all the time because we will pick-up injuries. We have good enough players now to mix it up and they should all know their roles.
“I know how good the players are (that came into the team at Cardiff) and they did not surprise me. That is why I did not think that I played a weakened team. I played a fresh team and a team I thought could get a result, which they nearly did. They did not put anything in my mind other than reassuring me they are in good form and are fresh. It is a big week ahead for us and they are all going to play a role. I trust them all.
“Tom Beere has been back training for the week, which is what we wanted so has put himself back in the mix, but we are still awaiting clearance from FIFA for Christian Toonga and that is dragging on a bit.”
A full video interview with Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player, along with extended highlights of the Cardiff game on Tuesday. An extensive interview with Dannie Bulman ahead of his return to Crawley will feature on Dons Player tomorrow.
Neal is expecting Mark Yates’ Crawley side to come out all guns blazing in their first home game on Saturday, but he has been focusing on the positive elements of his own side’s play during the build-up.
“I know Mark and Jimmy Dack (assistant manager) well and they are very good,” added Neal. “The first thing they have done is to get them well organised. They got a very good point at Oxford and as it is their first home game they will be looking to come at us. We will be aware of their threats because they have some good professionals and good legs in there. I will have our team prepared to make sure they are aware of set-pieces and stuff like that. It is going to be about our own energy levels though and us producing a high level of performance.
“We did some video analysis today because there were so many positives (on Tuesday). We got the six or seven forwards into the office and showed them some points. We had a really good chat about what is working and what they are finding more difficult. We are going to do a bit more work on that tomorrow and hopefully we will be ready to go.
“We have talked about not being scarred by the 20 minutes of madness that we had against Plymouth. We just lost our heads and because of that we did not look a very good team. I would like the players to look at the first 25 minutes of that game and how good they were in that spell.”