Wimbledon manager ahead of Carlisle trip
Neal Ardley says he retains plenty of faith in his current squad – and there is no need to panic at this early stage of the season.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player ahead of the trip to Carlisle United, Neal stressed that there are positive signs in Wimbledon’s attacking play after two league defeats in three matches.
“From a manager’s point of view I think the worst-case scenario would be if I looked at it and thought that we did not have good enough players,” Neal told WDON’s Rob Cornell. “Or if we did not have anything about us going forward. That is certainly not the case. We did some video analysis today and showed them the goals and build-up play. We showed them the things that we need to get right. We also showed the players the positives in the first-half and there were also some real positives in the second half.
“We are three games in and we do not want to be hitting panic buttons or starting inquests. We want to be saying ‘we are a good team, but what can we do to make sure this does not happen again?’ The boys want to do well and they think they are good enough. We have not lost any chance to do well after three games, but there are no easy games in this league.
“I am trying to learn because I still get up and down the touchline and think that I can play the game for some of them! I am constantly shouting out information and getting at them. The more that I have spoken to experienced managers, the more I hear that the only time you can do something is pre-game, midway through, and assess it afterwards. We are all together as one and I have a lot of faith in these boys. It’s not the start we wanted with two home losses, but anyone who says there is not a smidgen of promise would be lying.”
Neal added that the squad is in good shape at the current time with no fresh injuries to report. He is expecting Carlisle to really come at his side on Saturday with an attacking approach.
“I have watched quite a lot of video footage of Carlisle and they are decent,” Neal said. “They are very brave in the way that they play and are totally transformed from when they were fighting relegation.
“Though Carlisle have shipped eight goals so far, they could have been three up against Plymouth before conceding. They capitulated after some sloppy mistakes in the second half, but they are good. They have a massive pitch up there and a big threat at the top end. We will have to make sure we are aware of that and their shape, but we will have a game plan and it has got to be about us.”
The full update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an interview with Callum Kennedy will follow tomorrow.