Update for Dons Player from the manager
Neal Ardley today reported that his squad is in good shape after the trip to La Manga with only Ade Azeez sitting out today’s training session.
Following the training camp in Spain, Neal spoke to Dons Player about his plans for the game against Kingstonian on Thursday and Cheltenham two days later. There was also a positive update from Neal in his bulletin for Dons Player about bringing in a new defender ahead of the new season.
Neal and his coaching staff are aiming to work the squad hard this week with just 11 days until 2015/16 gets underway for Wimbledon at home to Plymouth.
“We had good pitches to train on and we got to spend a lot of time with our players,” Neal told WDON commentator Rob Cornell. “We did match analysis in the evenings and had a bit of team bonding. The boys all had a bit of banter and overall it was a very good week.
“We have a couple of little niggles in the squad. Ade’s ankle has not quite settled down since the Millwall game so he has stepped out of training. Tom Elliott had a stiff back, which is why we left him out of the game in La Manga, but he trained today and hopefully the chiropractor has got him through the worst of that.
“The point I have made is that we needed them all to do fitness work today. We need them to get through 90 minutes on Thursday or Saturday because that puts the finishing touches to it. We do not want anyone going into the Plymouth game at 85 per cent and I am left thinking that they are not quite ready.”
With games on Thursday and Saturday, it is a busy week ahead for the coaching staff and Neal says it has been carefully planned to ensure there are no fresh injuries with the new season looming.
“Once we got through the game in La Manga we planned the week," added Neal. "There is an element of fitness that we wanted to get into them in the first part of the week. The team playing on Thursday did their fitness work on Monday and the team playing on Saturday did their work today. The team playing on Saturday will be off tomorrow, but the rest will be in.
“We will make sure that everyone gets their set prep and everyone will end up getting a day of rest in there. We will ensure both teams go out knowing their jobs and their roles because there is still all to play for.”
The full update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an in-depth interview with Bayo Akinfenwa will follow tomorrow.