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Plenty of options for Neal

12 March 2015

Almost a fully fit squad for the manager at Exeter

Neal Ardley has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s League 2 match as he plots a much-improved performance at Exeter City this time around.

Tom Beere missed the home win against York with a hamstring strain and Saturday may come too soon for him. Though centre-back Jake Goodman had a run-out for the Under-21s on Monday, Neal is reluctant to rush him back.

Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “Tom had a slight hamstring strain last week and missed the game, but other than that everyone is fine. They are all fit and well. Jake Goodman got 90 minutes under his belt, but Saturday may come too soon for him. We have a little plan in place for Jake and we will probably look to play him in the Under-21s again on Tuesday so that he will be in contention for Portsmouth next Saturday.”

James Shea (ankle) is the only other player who Neal will have to do without at Exeter on Saturday.

Neal is eager for his AFC Wimbledon side to put on a show in Devon this Saturday with two previous visits to Exeter City having ended in 2-0 defeats and the Dons well beaten on both occasions.

“In the two games I have been there they have done a real number on us, added Neal. “I know that Paul Tisdale said after their game here (4-1 win for Wimbledon) that they always expect a tough battle at our place. Exeter always give us a tough battle when we go there though and they have been the better team both times.

“We did a lot of work today in training to prepare for this game and hopefully the performance will be better than the last two seasons. Exeter have a big, nice pitch, they play good football and they will be buoyed by their win last week.”

With the onus having fallen on Bayo Akinfenwa to lead the line during a hectic recent schedule, Neal says he has been careful to manage his training this week.

“Five games in two weeks was tough for him,” added Neal. “Bayo knows how important he is for us to have a strong run-in and we have managed him accordingly this week. We gave him a lighter start through the week, but he has trained hard today. Obviously, we also have Ade Azeez, Craig Tanner and Sean Rigg can play up there. We have options, but we are certainly going to need everybody.”

Places are still left on the supporters’ coach for the trip to Exeter City (£25 return). The coach will pick-up from opposite South Wimbledon tube station at 9.00 am and from the Cherry Red Records Stadium at 9.30 am. Contact 020 8547 3528 to book a place.

The full video update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an interview with Bayo Akinfenwa will follow tomorrow.


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