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Neal sets a high standard

14 May 2015

Wimbledon manager on chasing transfer targets

Neal Ardley said he is working “extremely hard” to bring in the players that will help create a winning mentality in his squad for season 2015/16.

Neal has wasted no time meeting with potential new recruits as he aims to turn Wimbledon into promotion contenders next season.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “I have been travelling up and down the M25, and here, there, and everywhere to meet potential targets. You have to put in the groundwork and that’s where it starts. Players take their time, they go back and forth, and there are a lot of clubs chasing them.

“As always, we are aiming high with some of our targets because we want the best in the league. We know that other people are doing that too so it is going to be tough. I can only say that I am working extremely hard and over the course of the coming weeks hopefully we will have a bit more news on it.”

During his first transfer window as Wimbledon manager in January, 2013, Neal memorably transformed his squad by bringing in the additions that helped the Dons to survive relegation. However, with sights now set on the other end of the table, Neal says it is tougher to bring in the players he wants.

“We are aiming higher so it gets harder,” Neal added. “When you aim higher there are more agents involved and more clubs are chasing a player. Instead of us being one of two clubs chasing a player you are one of five.

“What is our selling point if we are up against a big club who we cannot match financially? There are loads of problems that arise, but no stone has been left unturned. It is certainly not ad-hoc. We have put everything down that we feel is lacking. We are going for players who tick every box, but whether we can get them is a different kettle of fish. If we do get them then we should have added a lot of the qualities that were lacking last season.

“If we want to set our aspirations high for next season then it has to start in pre-season. We have to create that winning mentality from day one. We need to change a few things at the club and pre-season will be important to do that.”

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